Caffeinated musings on my place within Judaism, feminism and community. Pontification on political and social topics. Definitely not decaf.

01 August 2006

But I play one on TV

So if I want to see DH these days I have to log on to the ‘net, read the paper or turn on the TV. While it’s great that he’s bringing attention to the very real issue of security for our Jewish institutions, it’s not so great in terms of being a spouse and parent.

Example: tomorrow we’re all supposed to leave for a family vacation. It’s been planned for a year. The siblings, nephews and parents are all converging in a tropical locale for some togetherness, R&R and cousin bonding time. I’ve even prepared in advance of said family time by scheduling a session with my counselor upon my return. How’s that for planning.

Example: grad school doesn’t stop in the summer. I have a major theory paper due at the end of the month. So much for collaboration as my topic as discussed before. It was back to the drawing board and on to leadership, since that’s the topic I’m teaching in October. Made sense to “double dip” vis à vis the research. Plus there’s this new book I really wanted to get on Jewish approaches to leadership. Since I was originally interested in the topic of servant leadership, as one theory, here's my chance to look for Jewish alternatives and approaches to leadership.

Example: bedtimes. #1 and #2 would stay up all night. Only Abba can get them into bed before midnight. But if Abba isn't around, some how threatening, cajoling, bribing and pleading doesn't seem to do the trick. I can't convince either #1 or #2 to get some sleep so on the morrow they won't be threatening, cajoling, bribing and pleading with me on every single subject.

Now looking at our community...

Tragedies have the potential to bring out the best in people – and the worst. You read about these situations (hopefully more good than bad) each day in Jewish press. No surprises there. We all know the media will drop a story as soon as something more flashy or sordid comes along.

But, back home, we're all left holding the bag – and each other. I can only hope that in the days, weeks and months ahead our community can reassess and reprioritize. As I sit here, on the cusp of Tisha B'Av, I remember some childhood stories: Kamsa and Bar Kamsa and the one about feathers and lashon hara. I also comfort in the tale of two brothers. Obviously the first two are cautionary tales: don't do this at home folks. The third illustrates and reminds us of our potential. It's how we should act – even if, too often, we miss the mark.

Even though we're tired here, stretched thin and doing our best to pull together, may we focus our efforts on acting like those two brothers. If we have any hope of achieving peace and learning to understand each other, this is the only way.


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