I was surprised that Thom W. took so long to teach us "Uyai mose (Come All You People)," as I feel really familiar with this Zimbabwean song, but maybe I know it from e.g. Convo.
Apparently we're doing a summer book series, and Molly started off with Where the Wild Things Are
, I thought of you.)
It was Jubilee Sunday, which meant the kids were in the Sanctuary for the entirety of the service. Jubilee Sunday is not my favorite thing. Molly talked about how people have negative conceptions of Christians, but those aren't necessarily true of us ("We're not weird" -- which we all know is not true, so I hate that she used it as stand-in for "we are not weird in the negative ways that some people except us to be"; she invited people to say "I'm a Christian and [something about themselves]"; one of the new members said, "Late at night, when I'm all alone, I play the banjo in my attic;" yeah, we are totally weird).
I went to a Keshet event
and picked up a copy of their July & August 2012 calendar, which included:
Beit Midrash - Boundary Crossing: The Story of Ruth
As queer Jews, our identity is rich and complex. What does it mean to alter our identity? Or come into our identity? How do we learn to read other boundary crossers? Take a journey through the Book of Ruth and see how the best known and most beloved pair of biblical women cross identity boundaries and struggle to be recognized.
Facilitated by Penina Weinberg, biblical scholar and member of our Community Events Committee.
Cosponsored by Havurat Shalom
113 College Avenue, Somerville
RSVP by 7/16
My experience with the Hav has been that RSVP is in no way required (though I'm sure it helps them for planning purposes). Anyone interested in coming with?
Anyway, the event itself.
Ladin read from "The God Thing" chapter of her book.
"we are all melachim [angels] -- as if human lives were God's vocal chords"
"Sometimes we want divine room service, but usually we don't, anymore than children want to be followed around by nagging parents who are always right. So God speaks to us through the voices we so desperately want to hear -- other people's."
She talked about circumcision, about the idea (from rabbinic tradition I assume, though I didn't write it down in my notes) that male Jews recreate their bodies to reflect their true identity.
She talked about Shakespeare plays where people change clothes and people don't recognize them and fall in love with them -- said she always thought that was stupid plotting, but then she was at a conference and when she was dressed as herself, people didn't recognize her at all (they knew her as a man, so when they saw her as a woman, it was like, "I don't know a woman who looks like that, don't need to register that person at all").
A woman in front of me said she "works with kids who are born in all sorts of ways parents didn't ask for or sign up for" and mentioned a book of blessing (the name/author of which I didn't catch -- I should have asked afterward) which has the (non-gendered) blessing: "may you be who you are, and may you be blessed in who you are."
Same woman said that "welcoming GBLT...QI..." people is not an add-on but a different theology.
Ladin talked about the fact that we make assumptions about people's genders based on the initial cues we read and talked about the need for a definition of humanness that doesn't rest in gender distinctions -- so that we can respect people even when you can't make sense of their gender.
She talked about how surgery etc. for trans folk is considered medical decision. She said, "we are not allowed to know who we are -- other people have to approve that."
There were lots of attractive queer-looking ~women, and I am bad at initiating small-talk, and after the event proper was over and people were just mingling, I just wanted a nap (the heat of the room probably wasn't helping), so I bailed rather than attempt to socialize, but I was also thinking about how I feel sort of like an interloper in Jewish spaces. I sent Scott an email about this and he replied the next morning: "this requires in-person comment.... but the short form is DON'T PANIC!" ♥
***"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]Thus says God to these bones: "I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am God." (Ezekiel 37:5-6, NRSV, alt.)( Read more... )