Can’t Forget About Jew

I have always considered myself a person of faith. I was lucky enough to be born a Sephardic Jew in one of the most welcoming periods in world history. Because of this, I never had to hide my beliefs, I had the opportunity to inform countless masses of friends what the laws of Kosher are, sharing stories about my main man Moses, and having a global network of strangers and friends alike that I could rely on, that I could confide in. But that’s not what I wanted to highlight today. Recently, I went to Yom Kippur services for the “Jewish New Year” where I fasted the whole day and prayed in repentance of the misdeeds committed by me and fellow Jews this last year. At the end of the second night, after nearly 30 hours without food, water, or bathing, as night falls, your fate for the next year is sealed, your past year is wiped clean and are given a chance to start anew. As I left services with my father, I felt invigorated, I felt fresh, I felt strong despite my thirst and hunger, and it was all due to this faith of mine. I realized I possessed a luxury that many of my friends grew up without and still live lacking. 
 
My faith has always been something I could rely on. From a young age, when I questioned something, I found my faith would always give me a confident answer, giving me a sense of closure, a peace-of-mind not afforded to my peers. When my friends grew to understand the finality of their mortality, when they struggled to find meaning in their lives, when they tossed and turned trying to comprehend our loneliness in our vast expanse of the universe, I had Judaism to fill the gaps in my young mind, sheltering me from the despair. Now I’m not saying it by any means encourages ignorance, some of the best Jewish scholars throughout history have integrated the scientific understand of our universe and Judaism because “[Both] were understood to be two different manifestations of the same divine truth.” (MJL, 2007) I was always encouraged by numerous Rabbi and teachers from my Jewish primary school to find my own truths, but if I couldn’t find a why for any of these, an explanation for my truths, Judaism would always be there to support my conclusions, to give me confidence about my role in our universe, no matter how small. I can go to sleep every night knowing if I were to not wake up in the morning, it would be because I have served my purpose and my job is completed, for this I am incredibly grateful.  
Photo Credit: Kenzie Bruce, The Denver Post
Mjl. “Judaism & Science in History.” My Jewish Learning, My Jewish Learning, 4 Feb. 2007, www.myjewishlearning.com/article/judaism-science-in-history/.
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for her.

As I have grown older, I have danced around with my faith in God. My extended family is very Catholic. Like, so Catholic that my great grandparents had fifteen children. 

Both my mother and father grew up in the church. With families that wholeheartedly believe in God and Catholic values, there was little room to be different and your own person with different values and morals. My parents saw flaws in this system and didn’t raise my brother and me in the church. 

Now, as my relationship with God is pretty non-existent, I wonder about the strength in religion and the power of spirituality. Around the world, there are all these varying forms of praying to a higher power(s) in order to feel something like happiness, clarity, or reassurance. 

My aunt is currently sick.  And I am waiting for a miracle. 

My family has urged people to pray to keep her alive and healthy. But, is that legit and enough?

We have been praying for months. 

We have been watching the sickness take over her. 

We have watched the weight drop off her like the tears that run off our faces when thinking about her future.

We are putting our hopes and prayers on one person and what is He doing to save her? 

But, I pull myself back from this cycle of negativity and think about her, just her. I think about her needs, what she wants right now. 

She lived and lives a beautiful life. 

She is surrounded by people who love her and will be for eternity. 

She has made hundreds of people smile. 

My sentiments on prayer and putting all your hopes on one figure can be pushed out the window. For now, I will pray because I know that is what she believes in.

photo credit: pinterest.com

An Editorial on Milk

There are many unanswered questions pertaining to human history. What was the first language? Why do we feel emotions? Exactly where did the first human come from? Yet one question rules over the rest, hovering over the heads of puzzled scientists. Why do we drink milk? Or, more specifically, who in the hell thought to pull on a pink dangling thing underneath a cow, see white stuff come out, and then DRINK IT? Sure, whoever this individual was, their logic wasn’t completely flawed, as humans spend the first year of their life drinking milk. But it could have gone very poorly.

Most likely the first Milkman was in fact a male, as men tend to have more dumb ideas than women. So this person happened to luck out by choosing a cow. It’s possible that he could have stumbled upon a cat and decided to milk it, which would likely have yielded fruitless yet harmless results. But say he had decided to milk a horse, or even worse, an alligator. The future of humans would have been drastically different. No milk means no Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake.” No milk means a race of people who don’t exceed 4 feet.  No milk means no mid-class gastrointestinal issues from Aaron.

Thankfully, the Milkman chose a cow. Now, imagine if you lived in a small community of 30 or so people, who may or may not have had language, and largely depended upon each other for resources. You have been living tranquilly in a temperate valley for the past 20 years, and in two years you will be old and die. Suddenly, Thag, the town fool rushes into your village holding a handful of white liquid, some of which appears to be dripping down his beard, a wild and crazed look in his eyes. Of course, you might assume the worst. But he tells you to drink it too, for it tastes good; and lo, it is, and rejoice! for Milk has been discovered. Soon, there will be cookies, ice cream, Got Milk? posters, and of course, yogurt. A revolutionary discovery has been made, and the world may never be the same again. So thank you, Milkperson, for not trying to milk an Emu. We appreciate it.

Credit: ThoughtCo

“The God who made the world and all things in it”

photo credit: jdboggs.blogspot.com

For quite some time now, I’ve been trying to find God.

It’s not that I feel I’m lacking something without being a member of a religion, I just find it fascinating how people feel so empowered by so many different faiths.

In some ways I’m jealous of those people, the ones who know whole-heartedly that there is some higher power out there to guide them.

I know a lot of people who are skeptical of religion and, in some ways, I am too.

But, I’ve come to the conclusion that good people don’t use the Bible or anything else to justify hate or harm. The people who make excuses in the name of God are hypocrites in the truest sense and are ignorant by thinking that just by adhering to a faith will guarantee a better life or afterlife.

I think there is so much we can learn from religious texts. Even if you don’t interpret them in a spiritual sense, I think that anyone of any faith or background can gain something from the lessons in them.

From my perspective, the main purpose of a religion is to give people a sense of purpose or fulfillment and to help them live the best life possible.

So if this is true, then I’ve found my god.

I find my religion in the wilderness. I find god in the trees and in rivers and mountains and the sunshine.

My god makes up everything that is natural and wild. It teaches me to live the best, most fulfilled, and positive life that I can.

And that’s all I could really ask for.

 

Respect My Existence, Expect My Resistance.

It’s so sad that we live in time where we have to march for facts.

 Our democracy, planet, and justice are being eroded away.

Why are women’s bodies more regulated than guns?

Women’s rights are human rights.

Why are we destroying the one and only place we have to live?

There is no planet B.

How come people are persecuted and judged by their beliefs, place of origin, and skin color?

We are all immigrants. 

Why do people who are black have to constantly fear being arrested even if they are innocent?

Black lives matter.

Why can’t people love who they want?

How come six in ten LGBT+ students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation?

People can love who they want.

How come one out of six women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime? How come women are paid less than men?

Pay me more, touch me less.

It’s time to ditch Putin’s bitch and stand up for what’s right.

Our democracy, planet, and justice are being eroded away, and we must stop this. 

Photo credit: Zazzle.com

 

 

 

The Boy That Ruined Me: #metoo

Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse

I was fifteen almost sixteen when I met this boy. He was great, he was everything I could have ever wanted, at least, that’s what I led myself to believe.  I had a crush on him and, lucky for me, he liked me back. We started to date, but I remember that on the day that he asked me to be his girlfriend, something felt a little off.  I first found out how pushy he was that night.

He was all over me. Like most teenage boys, he wanted more and I wasn’t ready for that.  That night, nothing more than kissing happened, but it was too much kissing for me and I tried to tell him that, but he didn’t seem to care. I tried to brush it off and think nothing of it. After all, he was my first boyfriend and I could not mess it up; I was finally cool.  

Photo Credit: victimservicecenter.org

Later on in the relationship the pushiness only got worse.  My friends even started to help him in weird ways. On my sixteenth birthday, after only being together for a month, he had my friends lay roses on my bed and light candles.  Anyone that saw that scene knew what was going to happen, but it was not something I was ready for. When I walked in, I yelled at my friends so loud that my mom came downstairs.  Luckily, he wasn’t too pushy when he came over and I did not have sex with him, but some other things happened.

Every time he would come to my house, he would force me to please him and then text his dad to pick him up. After two months, I finally couldn’t take it any longer and wanted to break up with him. But, whenever I talked to anyone about breaking up with him, they told me not to.  I know I shouldn’t have listened to other people, but I had no clue when or how to break up with him because he was bigger than me and I was scared of him. I didn’t want to find out what he would do to me.

Eventually, I broke up with him. I made sure it was in a very public place and it was actually okay. But, an easy breakup doesn’t mean I left without baggage.  He sexually abused me. Him being my first boyfriend made it so I had no clue how relationships were truly supposed to be. He took my innocence away from me.  Everyone talks about how one’s first relationship is full of love and innocence, but I never got that. 

I hated myself for months after everything happened.  I used to cry myself to sleep because I would think of him and what he did to me.  At first, I was scared to tell people everything that happened. No one believed me and that made talking about it harder.  I wanted to get him in trouble for what he did to me, because what he did to me is something I will carry the rest of my life; but, there was no way to get him in trouble.  I wanted him to hurt as much as he hurt me. But, I was never able to do that, so I grew more mad as time went on.  Pretty soon, I no longer saw myself as a person; I saw myself as an object for people to use.

About ten months after everything happened, I went to church camp.  While I was there, my youth leader talked about how in Christianity one is supposed to forgive everyone as God has.  Hearing that was very hard for me, so I talked to my leader more and he helped me work through everything that happened and cried with me.  He was the first person to cry with me. I felt like he truly cared about me and, from that week, I learned to forgive my ex. It wasn’t easy; some days, I still get mad at him for the things he did to me, but I want to be a better Christian, so I am working as hard as I can to forgive him.  

I have not fully overcome the conflict, but I have learned to deal with it and have started to forgive.  One day, I hope I can say will full certainty that I forgive him, but until that day comes, I will be looking to God to get me there.

A World Collapsed


There once was a thing named freedom. The gods created it for everyone to hold on to from birth and throughout their life, for all of us to rely on. It was a given right and we thought it was safe to stay.

It was a world of peace, as it was supposed to be. A world where we would talk and learn and see the places we wanted to see and know the things we wanted to know; it was a free world.

Photo Credit: can.pixabay.com

There was also a thing named envy. The gods didn’t create it, people did. Why? No one knows. Because the people were bored? Because they were intimidated and jealous? Who knows? But, what can we do? Envy is the flawed human trait, one of them at least.

When envy spread across our peaceful world and the people first tasted its sour acid rain, freedom started to fade. First, the people claimed the world and its land. Then, they saw the beauty of nature and took it. They saw the beauty of the birds and took it, locked them in and traded their freedom for amusement. They kept taking, claiming, and destroying. One day, the greediest of people, saw another person and took them.

Freedom has been on the brink since then. Our world has never been the same since we started taking other people’s freedom for our own comfort. Some of us want it to be the way it used to be, some want this to be a free world again. But, some of us are not enough of us.