Category Archives: On My Mind

I Have A Reality…

Of the many dynamic figures of the Civil Rights Movement, no two have been the victims of a reductionist legacy the way Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have. When called to mind, most people remember Malcolm X’s association with the Nation of Islam and his tirades on white people being the devil and of the inherent superiority of blacks over whites, ignoring that after his pilgrimage to Mecca he left the Nation of Islam, embraced true Islam as a Sunni Muslim, eschewed black separatism, and had begun reconsidering his support for black nationalism. Continue reading I Have A Reality…

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They Wouldn’t Even Bury Her

Identifying names and locations have been obscured to protect the subject and her family. To avoid naming the direct city in which this incident occurred or to cast undue aspersion on the Jewish community of a different city, we have edited the location to the state.

We’ll call her Yonah.

She was only a Facebook friend. We’d spoken a few times virtually. Chimed in on the same threads in the same groups that we both belonged to with our mutual friends. Even shared some of the same articles and blog posts (some of which were mine). She was vibrant and funny. She was young. Continue reading They Wouldn’t Even Bury Her

Taking But Not Giving

In the wake of the Paris attacks, I posted a simple yet pointed status on my Facebook page:

“Just a PSA for persons on an “obviously Muslims are terrible” rant:

American slavery ended in 1865. The Holocaust was in 1939.The civil rights act was signed in 1964. South African apartheid ended in 1994. So it’s essentially only been 21 years since most of white Christians FINALLY realized it’s in poor form to treat other people like garbage.
Continue reading Taking But Not Giving

The Other Side Of The Garden

I wasn’t always Jewish, you know.

Once upon a time I was a typical Haitian-American girl trying to figure life out in the United States of America. I ate the typical food–griot, rice, beans–had the traditional Independence Day meals come January 1st annually. I was pretty sheltered growing up getting to go out when we all went to church.  We spoke French at home, although my parents had the secret Creole language that they spoke when they didn’t want the kids to hear.

Of course, we picked it up and figured it out. Continue reading The Other Side Of The Garden

You’re Talking to Gd Wrong

It happens to me every year. Every holiday. Every day, in fact.

I come across this one word, and my soul cringes inside my body knowing that millions of Jews have absolutely no clue that they’re saying it wrong. I didn’t know that I’d been saying it wrong for years myself until I stumbled across a random shul newsletter a few years back.

And, seeing as how this word is one of Gd’s names, saying it wrong is kind of a big deal. Continue reading You’re Talking to Gd Wrong

Old Shul v New Shul

For both personal and professional reasons, I’ve moved a lot. Seven states all together, not counting the duplicates (California twice, three times in Illinois).

That’s also meant changing synagogues. I’ve got the routine down. Meet the rabbi. Get in good with whoever runs Sisterhood, because that’s who’s really in charge. Volunteer for something to meet some people. And pay dues at whatever level you can afford to make sure you’re on the mailing list. Continue reading Old Shul v New Shul

Spark Reclaimed. At Least For Now.

A few weeks ago I took my family camping on Shabbos. The goal was to get back to the essence of Shabbos. I wanted to feel Shabbos the way I felt it many years ago. I wanted to be excited about it and feel a connection to Hashem. Because I love spending time in the woods and feel most at home in a wilderness environment I thought that camping Shabbos was the answer to feeling good about Shabbos again. Continue reading Spark Reclaimed. At Least For Now.

They’re All Our Boys

Guest Post by Adrienne “Adina” Yoe

One year has passed since our hearts and dreams were shattered when the Israeli government announced they had found the bodies of our boys – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali a’h. When I first heard that three Jewish Israeli boys had been kidnapped in Gush Etzion, Israel last summer, I felt my heart stop. Like many members of the Jewish community, I did not feel that Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali were anonymous strangers or co-religionists. Continue reading They’re All Our Boys