Friday, July 17, 2009
Jewish Atheists/Agnostics/Secularists Wanted
Over on Feministe and previously on her blog Dear Diaspora, Daisy Bond wanted to hear from:
"Diaspora Jews of my generation who, like me, are concerned with this task, but all responses are welcome. I would also very much like to hear from those Jews who are most at risk of being left out of the conversation: queer folks, Jews of color, Jews from “intermarried” families and those with only one Jewish parent, those who are themselves married to or in a relationship with a non-Jewish person, those who grew up secular or just not very observant, those who didn’t get a traditional Jewish education (Hebrew school, bar/bat mitzvah, etc). I want to hear from you! And I want you to know that Judaism is yours, that your have every right to it, that your voice and your concerns and are important and relevant and should (must!) be part of this discussion."

The conversation was regarding what we wanted in the future of Judaism and the conversation has been brisk and enlightening.

My particular interest is of those of us who are connected to Judaism but do not have a connection to a god or divine source. This includes people who have converted, those who feel left out of the larger Jewish community and anyone who has a connection to Judaism, the culture, but not the supernatural are welcome to this discussion.

As a bit of background, I grew up in a very traditionally reform synagogue and household. Lit Shabbat candles every Friday night, didn't eat shrimp or pork but didn't keep kosher either and kept separate dishes and did bedika chametz the night before Pesach, etc. As a young adult I went to HUC-JIR and had planned to become a rabbi until I realized that I was pretending to believe in God and it was incompatible, at least in my mind, with getting smicha. I promptly stopped practicing and yet, the culture, and yes, even some of the rituals, hold great meaning for me.

On this blog I have written about the Omer, Purim, tashlich, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and mikveh. I have also written a screed about Jews and tattoos. I am pretty well drunk on the punch people but I go into even the most liberally-minded Jewish programs and the prayers turn me off.

So, my questions are:

What do you do to maintain your culture?
Have you found a community that welcomes you and makes you feel included?
Do you attend synagogue? If so, how do you deal with the God stuff?
What other questions need to be asked?

I look forward to hearing your answers and questions.


Stumble It!

Thursday, July 02, 2009
cliff list
So, some of you have heard what I want done with my body upon the occasion of my demise. For those that haven't, I would like my ashes tossed off the same cliff on the big island of Hawai'i that we tossed Jeff's ashes.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Jeff's death, on July 1, 1999, I hear by present my Cliff List (in no particular order).

Some of the following I have already accomplished so those are crossed out, but it didn't seem like I should leave them out just because I've already done here it is.

1. Get my book published
2. See the Taj Mahal with my niece
3. Go into the Grand Canyon on a mule
4. Make 100 beautiful things (more on this to come)
5. Take a frame-worthy photograph
6. Visit South Africa
7. Return to Israel for a visit with friends and float on the Dead Sea
8. Rent a motorscooter in Greece
9. Visit the Clinton Library
10. Travel around the U.S. in an RV
11. Visit Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial and ride through the Black Hills
12. Learn to fence
13. See the Northern Lights
14. See Chichen Itza
15. Cruise to Alaska
16. Learn to play poker
17. Learn to do metalwork
18. Learn woodworking and make something useful (or a treehouse!)
19. Get my master's degree
20. Mentor a student
21. Have high tea while sartorially appropriate
22. Have occasion to make and wear a renaissance style gown
23. See the grunion run
24. Spend a week at a writing retreat in New England in the fall
25. Write a children's book
26. Take a train to Canada with a sleeper car
27. See a meteor shower in the desert
28. Stay at the Shady Dell in Bisbee, AZ
29. Make a quilt for myself
30. Make a quilt for someone who is special to me
31. Take "that picture" with the Leaning Tower of Pisa
32. Visit Zion National Park
33. Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
34. Visit Yellowstone National Park
35. See Old Faithful erupt
36. Stand on the Great Wall of China
37. Have my portrait painted.
38. Have a "drive in movie night" in my back yard
39. Fly in a helicopter (that isn't lifeflighting me to a hospital)
40. Be in New Orleans on Mardi Gras
41. Write a cookbook
42. Design and build my perfect back yard
43. Have a spa environment in my bathroom
44. Eat fire
45. Buy a needy stranger a meal
46. Dive off a cliff
47. Learn to ride a motorcycle
48. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
49. See an active volcano
50. Stay at a monastery or convent
51. Eat fresh lobster in Maine
52. Pick apples at a U-Pick farm and make applesauce
53. Grow a bunch of heirloom tomatoes and eat them with olive oil and mozzarella
54. Have a glass of Greek wine while watching the sunset off a balcony in Greece
55. Have the best Hallowe'en display on the block
56. Make my own Hallowe'en costume
57. Have a reunion with my Israel classmates
58. Go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl with box seats
59. See a seriously campy movie at Cinespia
60. Go to Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach
61. Fix up an old car (preferably my 66 Ford Galaxie >photo) and join the Hell's Belles
62. Finish my tattoo
63. Get the rest of my body tattooed
64. Grow a pumpkin
65. Visit the longest yard sale
66. Design and print my own fabric
67. Have a yearly themed party until I can't think of any more good themes
68. Build a firepit in my backyard and have a s'more roast
69. Make and can my own pickles
70. Start an Etsy site and sell my wares
71. Make my bedroom into a cozy retreat
72. Learn to sew well enough that I can make an item of clothing without hesitation
73. Have a massive Hallowe'en party
74. Have an article that I wrote printed in a major magazine
75. Go kayaking in Hawai'i again
76. Take a belly dance class
77. Ride in a hot air balloon
78. Successfully make spun sugar
79. Sleep on a houseboat
80. own a home
81. sit and read in front of my own fireplace
82. learn to scuba dive
83. Get my SCUBA license
84. Go to the races
85. Make every recipe in one cookbook
86. Run a 5K
87. Have a full day of beauty at a spa and enjoy every moment
88. Leave a 100% tip for someone
89. Teach a University course
90. Fire a gun
91. participate in an archeological dig and find a treasure
92. Skinny dip
93. Visit Pompeii
94. Visit the Anne Frank house
95. Visit (or at least pee in) all 50 states
96. Take a pilates class
97. See the Milky Way from Joshua Tree
98. Open a store
99. Retire!
100. Ask a stranger in another country if I can take their picture in their native language
101. Have my photographic portrait taken
102. Build a snowman
103. Visit the Louvre
104. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
105. Take a swing dance class
106. Make a piece of art that I could hang on a wall and be proud of
107. Stop ending sentences in prepositions.

That last one was just for those of you who are still with me. I'm going to try to update this list to let you know how I'm doing. It's not a complete list. I'll probably add to it as I go.

I'm looking forward to checking things off the list!

Labels: , , ,

Stumble It!