I already linked to this article once but I love the last line of this quote so much that I had to link again.
In yeshivas, they are sometimes taunted as “monkeys” or with the Yiddish epithet for blacks. At synagogues and kosher restaurants, they engender blank stares. And dating can be awkward: their numbers are so small, friends will often share at least some romantic history with the same man or woman, and matchmakers always pair them with people with whom they have little in common beyond skin color.
They are African-Americans and Orthodox Jews, a rare cross-cultural hybrid that seems quintessentially Brooklyn, but received little notice until last week, after Yoseph Robinson, a Jamaican-born convert, was killed during a robbery attempt at the kosher liquor store where he worked.” —Being Black Jews Without Dividing Loyalties - NYTimes.com
I just made the last payment on my student loan. Though there is still house buying and renovation debt to take care of it feels good to have a financial burden that I’ve been packing around for a long time taken care of.
I desperately want both an iPad and a new iPhone but fiscal responsibility won out over toy lust. That’s a good thing I think.
Louisville has had more days above-normal temperatures than any other city in the country since June 1, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There had been a total of 80 days with above average temperatures through Tuesday — 29 in June; 27 in July; and every day so far this month — said Mike Crow, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.” —
I done told y’all how miserable this summer has been. Now here’s some data to verify my claims.
he Rosh Hashanah service was held in a packed little chapel. We sat in the anteroom on folding chairs. I couldn’t see the rabbi, but I heard the shofar. As I’d heard the soft friction of the heron wings beating, for the city was so quiet that morning, God was whispering.
We were in the first lines of Genesis: light, darkness, and the first winged creatures.
We roamed the empty streets in the days of awe. Amid shuttered shops, an open one sold ice cream—in one, exquisite flavor: “violet.” I spoke to a policeman who had waded through hell; we were all survivors. I spoke to everybody; there were no divides. Post-Katrina we were all like Jews who share a common history of catastrophe. Every conversation started with the same question: How did you make it through the storm?” —
Well worth reading.
But more than that, even when people show up, the nature of many outreach programs leads me to wonder whether we aren’t operating under a misguided definition of “success.” If people go to an event featuring a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model from Israel and leave tipsy but untransformed Jewishly, is that a success? Will attending a kosher karaoke night make people more moral, kinder, more in touch with themselves, with the Divine, with a stronger sense of meaning to their lives? Will it quench their thirst for the living Torah — the Torah that speaks to their lives, their struggles, their romances and ethical questions, to their financial woes and existential fears?
I would posit that getting butts in chairs — even the butts of a highly desirable demographic — is not the point. Our job, as rabbis, as Conservative Jews, as Jews in general, is to offer opportunities for our constituents to have meaningful connections to other people, to the Jewish tradition, to Torah, to the world as a whole, to themselves and to God. And as it happens, 20-somethings — like folks in other age groups — crave substance and depth.” —
All of this and the comments in response to it are well worth reading.