Monday, June 30, 2008

Gotta Love the Men who Try!

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I don't know why I'm such a sucker for these types of pics! I love taking pictures of my husband tending to the children. I have a picture almost exactly like this that I post long ago.

Here's another guy hard at work. Gotta love the men who try (he's doing a fine job too!)





(hat tip: Tania from Its My It List)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Black, Male & Jewish?

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Are there any black, Male Jews who read this blog? Just putting this out.

Dunbar Village All Over Again

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I saw this post over at Black Women Vote blog! A 20 year old (just starting her life, okay?!) gets ambushed and dragged into her home. The man proceeded to rape her, despite her cries for help.

To make matters worse, the neighbors all hear her cries and don't lift a finger --not even to call the police. The rapist, realizing that nobody's coming to her aid, calls up his buddies to come join him in raping the poor girl!

To add to the injury AND the insult, these shameless neighbors BOLDLY admit to this to the reporters!

Where do I begin?

GUARDING THE EYES

One of the harshest thing about being sexually immoral, is that the world can basically leave you alone once you've gone down that rabbit hole. The person who succumbs to immoral sexual behavior -according to the sages- creates their own demon, their own problems, and no one needs to make matters worse for them. It just happens.

I think that may be one of the problems that the media is infusing in the BC. So much BET, so much MTV, so much imagery of over sexualized acts, behaviors, images. Its wreaking havock in the minds of the viewers. What are people who view these things -people who actually grow up on it- what do they become?

Can anyone tell the BC to turn off their TV? I mean unless it becomes BC friendly, or at least BW friendly, which most can attest to -IT IS NOT- why burden oneself with it? And for what? to get yet another survey or study of how bad things are? To see yet another sister, mother, cousin, daughter girating to some music? These only create lust in a person.

"Rabbi Elazar Hakapar said, Three things take a man out of the world: jealousy, lust and the desire for honor" "(Pirkei Avot 4:28).



When someone has any of these traits, they are seeing the world in a skewed way. Thus, they are not in reality.

Granted, when times are tough, its a great babysitter. But try a computer (if the kids are so little that they'll sit to watch the program you give them) try watch-movie.net, something other than BET, MTV, etc.

Guarding one's eyes also has another benefit that can get lost if not attended to -the loss of the imagination.

The ability to fantasize about a great BW heroine who can save the day...

The ability to fantasize about a BM who's an undercover agent

The ability to fantasize about another world entirely -perhaps made up of black folks with quirks or something.

The ability to just step out of reality, and stretch the mind for when one returns back to reality.

When I read stories about Black folks, its usually factual. I miss the old rap. The old funny, made up stories that used to be said in those music. I want the black imagination back.

VICTIM AVERSION

Nobody likes to be the victim. And sometimes it seems that when a BW is being gang raped and nobody heeds her cries, I wonder if its an attempt to distance oneself from the "mirror". That eerie realization that 'that could be me'ness. I wonder if the neighbors cutting themselves off from feeling anything for that poor girl is an attempt to not feel like a victim themselves?

But the reality is that that could have been anyone of them! This reality must be faced and fought. The only problem is it requires imagination to develop a solution to fight this -something that is slowly being taken away.

By infusing the black media with so much sexualized imagery, so, so much damage is being done.

THE SHAMELESS NEIGHBORS

Now for this, I really don't know what to think, what to say, nor what to do! That is simply a slipping away of humanity. Something very basic is missing there. God help those neighbors.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Middle East Problem...


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Does anyone know how to get rid of a lizard loose in the house?

Although it doesn't happen too often, its one of my worst things to deal with. The first time everything went smoothly. I trapped it in a bucket and brought the bucket outside and set it free.

The second time. Peta would have my head! I tried the same technique, but did't aim properly. The dear lizard lost a leg. What was more gross was that all the parts were still moving independently! Gross!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some Worthwhile Reads

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Symphony, over at Essential Presence said this perfectly. She has a post about keeping the "angry black woman" -ness in check.

Gina McCauley, from What About Our Daughters, published an article on in the Guardian about Michelle Obama's media makeover.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nurturing Women

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I just went to a whole day conference with INA MAY GASKIN!! Needless to say, I was excited when I heard she was coming to Israel. Since it was last minute, I wondered if I could use my charity money to go, if I could take my kids. So I just got a ride and went and hoped for the best.

Praise God, everything worked out.

They had a special section out there for nursing mothers and mothers with small children. It was a grassy area and had a loud speaker where one could hear Ina May as she spoke. So the kids and I could sit out on our blanket and much as we listened.

At first I thought to just sit out there without paying. But then my guilty conscious got the better of me. So, I hauled the kids into the YMCA -where the conference was being held- to asked where to pay. A lady out of the blue said there was an extra spot from her group and so I could join by signing my name and I wouldn't have to pay. Yay!! I did donate to her organization -charity money.

It was such a pleasant day! There is something about women who are very into natural things. Healthy eating, un-intervention childbirth by midwives, etc. Some how they seem so much more relaxed than very city-fied people. There was less hang ups.

After walking back and forth to take the kids to the bathroom, then to get something to eat, then to play in the grass for a bit, then to get my recorder. I was pooped. So I sat on a stairway. Suddenly other mothers came and sat around me with their babies. So easy and relaxed the people were. Then the kids all started interacting and playing.

There is definitely a different air about folks who are "natural". Oh! I even saw another interracial couple. lol. She averted her eyes from me. I hope she didn't think I was misjudging her. My husband was not with me so I guess she couldn't know that I was in the same boat with her and that I didn't frown upon her relationship.

Thank you, Ina May, for the conference and all the folks who put it together.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Favorite Singer: Yosef Karduner

Did you all hear about that bum who was shot to death as he beat his toddler to death? (sigh) what is this world coming to? I dedicate this song to that toddler.

Anyway, a refreshment for the soul. Here's Karduner singing Moshiach Yavo /the Messiah is coming



(h/t: Lazer Beams)
lyrics:

Moshiach yavo /the Messiah will coming
Moshiach yavo /the Messiah will coming
l'taken et ha olam /to fix the whole world
et ha olam kulo /the whole world
(repeat)

Hashem yivney beito /God build your home (i.e. the Holy Temple)
Hashem yivney beito /God build your home

l'hashrot sham Shekhinat /to cause His Divine Presence to dwell there
Shekhinat kodsho /His Holy Divine Presence
(repeat)

Quick Note: Asher Yotzar

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Asher Yotzar = (He) Who created..

This is the "after blessing" that is done after one relieves himself. There is my particular favorite part in this prayer, the part that says, " should any one (various openings) become obstructed or should any of them break open, it would be impossible to remain alive for even a short while...." Basically, asking God to close what needs closing and open what needs opening.

That prayer has taken a whole new meaning ever since my operation. I am willing to bet that for every Jew who has suffered any physical pain, this prayer is a meaningful one - more than just thanking God for allowing us to relieve ourselves.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Musing on Being Resensitized, the BC, Leadership, Whatnots

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As most of you know I live in a religious Jewish enclave. As with most people who live in enclaves such as Amish, Mormons (?), others, one becomes resensitized to alot of things. Because I don't watch television, hardly listen to popular radio stations, etc., it gets a bit jarring to hear cuss words, or to hear folks being brash or rude to one another. Going to see a movie proves much more of a shocker than the shock the movie intended to give, lol.

However, from this position I must admit that I do see things a bit differently than the media or whoever would want me to think. For instance, though I am aware of the negative portrayal and the very true negative things that are going on in the black community, I still believe that they are a gem. Every creation of God is!

In the case of the black community, I see it as a gem, but parts of it, some groups within have been covered up by shmutz. All the dirt, additional rocks, sticking together on the gem makes that few can even see the gem that it has the potential to reveal. Many don't even believe it. Some even forgot...

Now am fearful of rising activists or wanna be activists trying to help the black community. Don't get me wrong, I am glad for that. But as usual with my sensitive self, I worry about something slightly fearful about some of these new emergng folks-Not all. I am also seeing wonderful, intelligent, compassionate, and thoughtful activism!!! But as for the few that make me nervous, they seem bent on helping the community get the material gains that the black community lacks -and that's great; however, I also sense sometimes that the way the BC is spoken to -the tone used to get a point across- will be psychologically smoldering. Every people respond to inspiration and uplifting. Being spoken to in contemptuous tones, condescending manners or with hurtful words -no matter what the good intentions are- just does not make for long term, happy respondents -it makes for toxic, pent up, emotional hurt that may (finally) come out and ruin all the good work that was done.

I guess folks can only lead others up to where they are. But it's up to the followers to examine carefully who their leaders are and where they will end up. Weigh it and see if that's where they want to be.

Yes, I think we are a gem. Many are interested in chizelling away at all the dirt. Many others are wont to bash the whole ore with a sledgehammer. And to bash it with all the force of their pent up anger at the 'enemy', exasperation at the BC themselves, whatever indigestion that's currently occurring, or whatever happened last week. Not all the upcoming leaders and activists seem that way. But just a warning -as the African American Rabbi Capers Funnye used to say: Watch!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teen in Politics

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Hey for all the young (teen) folks out there:

Here is a chance to get involved in the politics that effect YOU and gain knowledge and strategies of how to make it all work.

You can join Shecodes' new FaceBook group. See you there. (Shecodes is also the one that runs the Black Women Vote! blog)

A Dedication

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I dedicate this song to all my readers. I pray you all find love. True, simple, happy, together, mutual love.



Here's another nice one. Okay, its a bit corny but....

For Women Only

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As I gear up for The Day, I think wistfully at what i've been through. Mothers and mothers to be, all I can say is to please get educated on childbirth. Its not the greatest advice because often times I found myself not even knowing that I needed to know something.

Rikki Lake created this interesting two-hour video. At least it can get the questions going mentally.

Rikki's Video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jewish Nation

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Its been busy busy today. What with all the preparations for Shavuot, the Jewish holiday in which the Torah was given on Mount Sinai, I haven't been able to be at the computer.

So here's a quick Happy Birthday to the Jewish Nation. Its funny to think. I suppose we are not a monolith. Almost the only thing holding us all together is the Torah and the belief.

Well, here's to the Nation...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jewish Year & What Does It Mean for the BC?

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Yep, there I go again super-imposing the BC into Jewish affairs. lol. Truly, I do it because I don't think its "wrong" just a different interpretation of the times.

Anyway, the Jewish year currently is 5768. That means we are at the cusp of a change. 5770 would be that change. Every tens, hundreds, thousands, etc is supposed to symbolizes a radically different change.

It seems to me that Barack is at the verge of clinching the Democratic vote. Barack in Hebrew means lightening. Lightening usually comes before thunder. Thunder, according to Breslov, corresponds to intense prayer. Its as if there is an atmospheric "insert prayer here" arrow pointing at this time for everyone. So, get your prayers on!

Clap and make thunder!


More later.

(correction: the current Jewish New Year should read 5768 and NOT 5758. It has been corrected in the post)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Insatiable?

As I struggle to navigate through my emotional whirlwinds, I found an inspiring post on a blog called "Without Conditions" by Moriah Joy. The post is about people who want to remain virgins, but who are struggling with their need for hugs, touches, an arm around the shoulder, physical closeness -without the end result being intimacy.

I can relate.

These times for me create a seeming insatiable (or insatiated?) need for physical closeness -without the end result being intimacy. I've bugged hubby so much, I think he's fed up. So, I back off from him lest he think I'm ungrateful for the attention he does give me. But I find myself calling old friends and re-establishing friendships and calling new folks and forming new bonds. All this why? What is this drive? Can this void ever be filled? Is it an unfillable needy state that I must simply endure for the time being? Am I misinterpreting the spiritual message?

I do feel like a big (no pun intended) receptacle. A big receiver. A sucking vacuum. But I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be taking in. And so, my default is companionship. I want closeness. But I don't want to disturb anybody's day or schedule, etc.

Sorry, this post is not such a positive one. I generally try to stay on the bright side of things, but sometimes....

Anyway, this too shall pass, I'm sure. I just want to do the right thing as I surf the waves. Its an emotional storm wind, as I said before. God help me.
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Now let's see. Could this emotional stormwind be "marah shchorah" (black bile. i.e. depression; melancholy) or "atzvut" (rage, anger- the fight or flight adrenaline that comes out when one is stressed -however, since there is no real fighting for flighting to do, it just drops its business into the blood stream, messing up my heart and all)?

Pure and holy melody is always a good answer. Music is said to be the language of the higher soul (the Neshama) and the language of the angels. A good drum beat mixed in with some holy Truthful and pure words, now that sounds great! I'm getting happy already, lol. And then there's Rebbi Nachman's general remedy: Psalms:16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137 and 150. Perhaps this will be enough for now?

(Thinking this gives me one bit of sadness. I pray for the BC that they should stop with these unholy lyrics. Its too powerful and too destructive, I say. Okay, enough. I must focus on my own well being for now. )