Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's time for you to talk... I'd love to hear from you...

I am wondering what you are feeling going into Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (High Holidays) in regards to three specific thoughts. 

(I am reminding you that this is an anonymous blog. Feel free to be honest with your feelings)

1) What are your feelings toward God? Are you thankful? Do you feel love? Do you feel hurt? Are you angry? Do you question? What would you say to Him if you had a one on one?

2. Heterosexual men and women; how has your view of the Jewish homosexual evolved over the last year? Positive or negative? In what ways?

3. Those who identify as Jewish LGBTQ (all spectrums; married or single, in the closet or out, dating for relationships of a heterosexual or homosexual kind; teenagers struggling etc...) how do you feel about your last year? Have you progressed in your goals? Have you digressed? What do the High Holidays mean to you?

Thank you for your input. 


  1. I think the biggest issue with religion, both on the side of those who commit travesties in its name and on the side of people struggling to find a comfortable place in theirs, is the over-literalization of the anthropomorphization of God. As Humans, it's surely necessary - but only with the balance of understanding the metaphoric nature of this description. To be feeling unthankful towards, unloved by, angry at... God is only born of the imposition of our corporeal limitations and flaws upon our understanding of what God is. If we opened our God concept up to what we are taught, that He is Love, He is Good, He is Unity, but not in the fragmented and flawed versions we experience, rather the aggregate and source of those and other positive qualities, beyond what we can even comprehend it to be. Anything negative, unloving, divisive, or such is antithetical to God and to describe these qualities as a belonging to God is idolatrous and blasphemy. To anyone who can feel anything negative toward God, then to paraphrase Rebbe Nachman, your god is not the one I believe in.

    I feel the last year was one of amazing progress for myself, albeit with much digression. I look forward to the High Holidays, as I do all holidays and birthdays, as they provide milestones in specific categories where progress can be assessed, pride can be taken in accomplishments, and mistakes can be identified and corrected with a realignment before excessive divergence develops.

  2. 1) My feelings toward God are mixed. He has a cruel sense of humor sometimes. I don't think He is sadistic, but He seems to enjoy a good laugh, and making people ask "What the HELL did you do that for?"...And we're supposed to learn from these things. Often I'm too angry to "learn" from them. Sometimes I see what I believe was God's game plan 20 years after the cruel joke. But short term, I don't always have faith or patience—facience—to resist being angry.

    Sometimes I feel God's vindictive. He SAYS he is. He might even punish me for stuff my father did. Fun, ay?

    3) Just recently a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders, and...I feel free—out of control, even. I don't know where that's going to take me. So far, I see it MAYBE taking me to some good places this year. I feel less restrained from progressing religiously than I did before this huge weight was taken off my shoulders.

    But a shidduch would REALLY be amazing right about now.

  3. Regarding God, I am in total admiration of those who do believe, because I cannot seem to do so. I continuously go online reading articles and blog in a attempt to find some spark of meaning, but at this time, nothing.

    I'm one of those Jews who has hard time reconciling a merciful and loving God with the Holocaust. I lost most of both sides of my family the generation prior to my parents and I can't get my head around how God allowed this to happen to a group of people who suffered for generations in poverty and despair, and yet, they rejoiced in their Jewishness, never losing faith in God.

  4. My thoughts toward God I have always strived to keep as honest and simple as I possible can. Of course things sometimes don't make sense and maybe even seem downright confusing and unfair. However, it's always such an important lesson to remember that time after time God has kept me in his hand - never betraying or forsaking me in any way. At the time when things get tough and difficult I find my Jewish being strengthened and renewed. Although it always takes work, I always feel I learn more and more about myself and my faith.

  5. I have been meaning to comment since last week and haven't had time until now.

    1)My thoughts towards God are complicated. Like many FFB folks, I think that my views on Judaism and the Torah and therefore God were always very elementary and immature. How many of "us" still believe things the same way they were taught to us as children? Too many in my opinion. So then what happens when your brain has matured and you begin to question the literal aspect of the things we learned. How can we synchronize the things we've been taught to believe without question (be'emunah shelaima if you will) with scientific proof and rationality that teaches us otherwise? Does it put into question everything we have been taught to believe? You'll notice I'm asking these questions and not answering them...

    Even more than this, I think the advent of daas torah as we currently know it has turned me off the rabbinic leadership in a most unfortunate way. Sadly I believe power brings corruption, and that leads me to ask - if these people claim to represent God- is this the God I want to believe in?

    2) I'm a heterosexual person who is 100% ok with homosexuality. I think over the past year with there being so much discussion about homosexuality- in Judaism, in the government, with marriage, etc, I'm somewhat dismayed at the attitude many people still take about homosexuality. I firmly believe that gay people are becoming the quintessential "other" and as long as (those who are inclined to be intolerant) people don't personally know any gay people (or don't know they know gay people) then they can "other" them and deny them rights. I can't imagine why it matters to anyone else what rights someone else has if it does not affect them. In my experience, everyone I know who is supportive of LGBT rights is someone who knows and probably cares about another person in their life who happens to be gay. Once you can see someone as a person rather than just a label, it is harder to deny them the rights that you take for granted. A good example of this is the various conservative politicians who have changed their stance on gay marriage because they have gay children.

    To be completely honest, I wholeheartedly wish that there was more that I, an orthodox heterosexual person, could formally do for the jewish/orthodox LGBT community. I want to be able to show my support and say that there is someone in the larger orthodox community that recognizes you for who you are and wants you to feel ok with who you are even in this community that is not as supportive of you as it needs to be. It's not enough that I'm ok with it, if someone can feel better about themselves because I care, I want to do something. But I honestly don't know what to do. I'm not an activist and I don't know how to be one. If any orthodox LGBT foks have any ideas, suggestions, etc please share them.

    I wish you a year of happiness and contentment. G'mar Tov.

  6. The Yamim Noraim this year was special. I fully realized, & accepted, that as long as I deepen my relationship with my personal loving Entity that I don't understand, everything else flows from this personal relationship. It does require daily prayer and meditation, in order to seek such conscious contact. .. Last year on Rosh Hashana I prayed for such an experience, and was blessed with ample opportunity to receive such a deep and personal love with God. I wish the same for anyone struggling otherwise.