Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well, fuck. FUCK.

Sometimes, very often, Judaism is a struggle. I could never understand the point of, say, not eating certain foods for no good reason other than it being a fortitude test. Well, they cannot eat pork or seafood, eels, what else? The ostrich, you say? But that’s a bird, we've established they may eat birds! Oh, to throw them a bit, eh? Excellent, good thinking, let’s do that! If you thought kosher was abt dietary hygiene kindly re-think. There is so much abt Judaism that is ruled by this reasoning and I don’t see the need bcs life takes care of testing us most efficiently. I find it a bit cruel. [The idea of the Jewish God as a cruel one may come as a shock to you.]

There are also things I find downright hypocritical. The shabbos goy is a gentile that is responsible for doing all things on Shabbat that a Jew is forbidden to do. What bothers me is, if YOUR God tells you you cannot do XYZ, you either accept it or you do not. Hiring someone to do it for you simply bcs he has a different religion is circumventing the issue, feels like deceit and is entirely too self-serving. Not to mention that it implies that all gentiles are somewhat less worthy and therefore it won’t harm them [I know theoretically is bcs God commanded only the Jews to do this but see, I have this notion that we all have the same God and this preciousness and specialness of ours is a tad hard to swallow. And don't get me started on pikuach nefesh, the notion that saving a life supersedes all restrictions and how some Jews disgracefully think it doesn't apply if it concerns a non-Jew, or how some Orthodox will not save their pets from a fire bcs IT VIOLATES SHABBAT. Fuckers.]. And the ma’alit shabbat? Bcs you are not supposed to create fire, and electricity may cause sparkles, you are not allowed to turn on the lights etc. In Israel you have, in hotels frequented by religious Jews, an elevator that goes from floor to floor automatically, stopping on every single one. Someone please explain to me why this is ethical and any different than pressing the button yourself. The elevator is moving, ON SHABBAT, and is run by electricity and yet you're allowed to.
Miraculously, you are allowed to profit from it simply bcs it was already moving, you had nothing to do with it, metallic shabbos goy at your service. But you wouldn't get into my car even if it were already running as well and I hadn't started it for you - and how is it different? The ma'alit shabbat to me embodies all that is wrong with a certain type of Judaism and you know what? You do what you want and you'll never find me by the door urging you to take the stairs but I am bloody entitled to my beliefs as well.

I am not a rabbi and it's not up to me to decide who may do what within the bounds of Hallachah. And I realise Hallachic living is hard in modern days and rabbis do indeed try and find ways to integrate thousands of years of obligations and what not into our present. More power, I say. But to NOT admit it's hypocritical drives me mental especially bcs it is possible, if much harder, to live like our forefathers did. Hey, the Hamish still do it (and are for the most part very well adjusted and live very contented lives). So you choose not to, and good for you, but go on, having a second circuitry in an electrical connection so you can press the button and raise a hospital bed on Shabbat if you happen to work there and are religious doesn't make it NOT your action, are there perchance house elves living in that second circuitry? And isn't pikuach nefesh enough? Is it respecting the spirit of the law that says no pigs shall set food on Israeli soil to have said pigs live on wooden planks? NO. The letter maybe, they certainly never touch the soil, but I am reasonably sure that's not what was originally meant. So, again, choose to live in the modern world, very sane of you honestly, but don't try and convince me that a fair amount of hypocrisy isn't what allows it. There really is no way to avoid it but pretending it's perfectly normal and not a deception of sorts is just beyond me and my patience. And as for seriously religious Jews seriously debating whether one ultimately is allowed to read Harry Potter... That's having your priorities sorted out indeed.

I am having a very hard evening and my point is, I don’t care if it’s Shabbat and right now I couldn’t care less abt the destruction of the Temple. If that makes me a bad Jew, so be it. This is my personal rebellion against… something. We are still here, we are still thriving, my best friend is dead and quite frankly, that is far more important than all the buildings in the world. Religion is abt people, not places, ultimately [leave Jerusalem out of this]. We do not worship idols, false or otherwise, but, even though the line btwn the Temple obsession and avoda zara (idolatry) exists, it seems thin to me at times. [Oh I know it’s not really the Temple itself, it’s the way of life, the loss - I don’t care. I’m pissed off and lashing out and I don’t care.] And if God has a problem with my using the computer on Shabbat he can step right down and address me directly or I will not care one bloody bit. And if he happens to take the time to, I’d love to ask him if my theory is correct and God is indeed above such pettiness as deciding who lives and dies [ignore fallacy in argument, i.e., if God indeed stepped down and talked to me - or smacked me abt - he’d be an involved God and therefore my question would be automatically answered]. And if it turned out that he wasn’t, well then - I’d have to hurt him. [I think I’ve now burnt all the bridges I could, Lioness The Heretic. I still don’t care.]


My best friend is dead and


I’m just heartbroken bcs Uzi remains adamant abt remaining dead and I’ve been having the nightmares and the flashbacks to prove it, and I thought I was doing rather brilliantly but today I was with a friend at an outside café, the sort of friend you talk to maybe once a year but you pick up where you left off and life being what it is why the hell don’t you talk more often, and I had to tell her and all I could say was “Uzi was in Thailand…” and this horrendous knot formed in my throat and I realised I might yet cry, and she didn’t even understand immediately, it took her a while to realise what I was trying to say but my face eventually got the message across, and then she looked horrified and teary-eyed, and suddenly I was crying in an outside café, so: Uzi = dead and I couldn’t find the words to explain to him the desolation I am feeling bcs we were talking, see, not writing, and so here I am and Uzi looms smaller than death and I truly don’t know what to do with myself and feel I am quite efficiently going out of my mind.

And that was a tendril of hair, you think I’d post a bloody hickey? IT’S A TENDRIL! But I do feel a bit better now and God? You’d better be happy for me, Shabbat or not.


UPDATE: A bit better but fully demented, I left an apalling comment on some blogger's site in the wee hours of the morning, always a bad decision, she'd been wondering whether the ocen doesn't sometimes just up and eat you - ha! I leave it to you to imagine what that did to my macabre sense of humour, I have sent an email and apologised.


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At 13/8/05 03:23, Blogger Agent Sierra said...

Do go get yourself more ice cream.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Damn. Putting those two sentences in this comment seems wrong. Apologies.

At 13/8/05 08:03, Blogger Lord Chimmy said...

There are times...when I read stuff like this...that I just wish I could talk to you becuase I'm just not good enough with the written word. You're a remarkable person. You have this gift of conveying with your writing exactly what you feel.

I sense your desperation and the only thing I know to do in that situation is hug you...and I totally would if I could.

At 13/8/05 08:40, Blogger elvira black said...

Hi Lioness:

I just stumbled onto your blog by way of Chimmy's, and I haven't read far enough in to know much about the death of your friend, but I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope blogging about it at least provides some cyber-therapy, which to me often seems the very best kind.

My aunt and uncle were Orthodox Jews--I lived with them for several years after my parents died. In the Lower East Side (NYC) complex they live in, they now DO have shabbes elevators. Fortunately there are two elevators-one for the goyim--so all is well.

My boyfriend used to be a Shabbes goy six days a week--sometimes seven. His "owners"at the hardware store where he worked used him like a pack mule, and because he was so affable he did his labors cheerfully. He does look very goyish, but at one point (this was the '70's) he wore his hair down to his ass and grew his beard very long, and they would call him either Jew boy or Our Lord, depending. My aunt can't handle the fact that my two long term relationships were/are with nice Catholic altar boys--I hid the fact that I was living with b/f # 1 for 20 years. As for b/f #2, maybe with a yarlmulke (not the prefab kind they hand out at funerals and brises for the non-practicing bretheren, but one of those little ones that guys' girlfriends knit for them with their name on it that you have to secure with bobby pins) he could pass in a pinch--except for the tattoos.

Keeping Kosher can be tough--if I suddenly decided to do so, I'd probably just go vegetarian. Is that cheating?

At 13/8/05 12:13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I princessandthepeaed and came back into the office. He showed up a while later, in speech mode, and told me that he understood how I must be feeling bad but when he does something wrong he apologises and when I do something wrong he apologises, and he knows I’m sad but I could be a bit more considerate. Or something."

More acurate: I have to break the ice in both cases.

At 13/8/05 15:36, Blogger Dale said...

Sounds just like the Swedes I know, actually :-)

The Tibetans do exactly the same thing, and it drives me nuts the same way. They have no qualms about eating meat but it's bad karma to *kill* something, so they have Muslim butchers to do the job. My own thought is that now they've incurred not only the bad karma for killing the animal, but the bad karma for inducing someone else to incur bad karma. Do they think karma's halfwitted?

I won't go into male vs female selfishness, having no wish to be maimed, but I will say that whenever I'm thinking "*I* wouldn't do that to *them*," I'm usually taking on an unnecessary load of trouble. I wouldn't do it because I don't see it the same way, not because I care more or they care less.

I don't think, given what he puts up with, you need to worry about how much he cares about you :-)

Love --

At 13/8/05 20:09, Blogger Diana said...

The things he and I are missing out on by essentially never fighting. And, bloody yes, he should have saved you some. Will he make that mistake again, one wonders. (Glad the storm broke.)

At 13/8/05 22:01, Blogger Agent Sierra said...

Thanks for understanding that they were meant kindly.

I firmly believe that if you can fight with each other and not lose one ounce of respect for one another, you have something worth holding onto.

Plus, making up is so much fun....

At 14/8/05 02:48, Blogger Eliyahu said...

well, miss princessandthepea, i hope the programe is still doing well by you! may you be blessed to always have enough of the right flavor on hand at the moment you need it!

At 14/8/05 13:23, Blogger Bubbi said...

I think you should write a book! You do write so very well.

At 15/8/05 16:58, Anonymous Manuela said...

The usual... laughing... crying... shaking my head at your brilliant turn of phrase...

At 16/8/05 13:20, Blogger Savtadotty said...

Don't look for logic in observing Kashrut and Shabbat if you want to stay sane. And leave God out of it, because it's really about communal continuity (global), continuous debate, and defining impossible boundaries (us/them). It's worked for millenia. Just look at Israel to see it all played out in real life, here and now.

At 6/2/08 14:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth said...

Your writing always hits me. You are so powerful and I still laugh and cry over your posts.


At 6/2/08 14:04, Blogger Lioness said...

AS, no worries. Those 2 sentences actually sound v good together.

Chimmy dahling, thank you. I think you are good enough and I shall consider myself hugged.

Elvira Black, that is one fabulous name! It does provide therapy, tnx. Your BF stories are mind-blowing - 20 years?? No, it's not cheating but it's not all that simple either, even rice, wine, etc must be kosher. Who knew.

Dale, Didn't know that abt the Tibetans, blah. I won't maim if you choose to go into it. As a matter of fact, it's a post I'd like to write some day and all contributions are welcome.

As for what he endures, well, this was actually the first time I went grief-mad on him in all these months, I haven't been talking abt it or crying much around him - or at all. So it's basically just my personality he has to put up with, no extras. That makes HIS BURDEN a bit lighter to bear, poor little thing that he is.

At 6/2/08 14:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CarpeDM said...

Johnny, I'm sitting here crying and laughing and crying again, all in the same post.

He did eat the last of the ice cream and should have saved some for you.

Maybe next time you should buy 3 things of ice cream. One for you, one for him and one community property.



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