eumelia: (diese religione)
I was going through tags today, specifically the "spiritual" and "that religion thing" ones.

Because I've been thinking about religion a lot lately.

I was surprised to discover I was still writing about belief in 2010 and actively searching for a an active way of believing in 2008.

I had almost forgotten why I was doing that.

But I remember and I know why, because I am nothing if not overly critical of myself when I think I've been stupid.

Feeling small and insignificant is not a good feeling. Nobody likes it when your life in filled with circumstances and events over which you have little to no control.

Until I was in about 20 years old, I played around with neo-paganism and witchcraft, you all can blame Willow Rosenberg (of Buffy) for that one. My own journey into adulthood was a little too similar to Willow's, but that's a post for another day.

And for a time, looking back at my teenaged years, it was a small rebellion, I think, because I grew up in a secular household and through paganism I could get in touch with the gods and goddesses I preferred.

I think I could qualify the years between 15 and 20, the years I took mythology a little bit too seriously. I learned a lot, but there was a lot of unlearning as well, which is why I don't really regret that phase.

When I was 21 that changed, because I was traumatised and I wasn't getting the support I needed from the people I thought I would be getting it. This is a group of people I was performing magic with, or at least, I allowed myself to think I was - looking back, I had a great need for approval and camaraderie.

During the second Lebanon war I attended an evening with a bunch of New Agers, and we raised energy in the name of something or other in order to keep everyone safe and to make sure that the world wouldn't be scarred by the violence.

Bullshit, of course. I honestly can't remember if the man I helped blow up on the screens happened before or after than evening, but it was probably around that time that it was the beginning of the end, so to speak.

That was the summer of 2006. By the time I had started Uni in 2007, I had a lost a lot of friends over the fact that I was no longer who I used to be.

I honestly can't remember what my thoughts were with regards to divinity or deity, or anything like that, I'm pretty sure that I was clinging to the last vestiges that there might be something bigger, that there might be a scheme to all the crap.

But there isn't and like many others who turn to god, I was looking for comfort.

I'm a little too practical now a days, to turn to fairy tales for that.

There is something sad and poignant in letting go of the old thought processes, that's probably why it took almost four years for me to reach the real conclusion that I have no soul and that there is no god.

That the god in the book of my people as real as the gods in the Odyssey. The ethical bankruptcy that comes from all these fairy tales, once I realised it, made me reject the whole damn thing.

You can't cherry pick the good, any more than you can cherry pick the bad.

I was raised with religion, but not religious. I fully acknowledge that I was raised without a belief in god, but with a huge indoctrination of Jewish identity and sense of persecution for that identity.

It's really easy for me to be a Jewish atheist, but that's just me, because I've gone through a process of letting go. Being Jewish is belonging to a tribe, the way other religions aren't really about, I think that makes the difference.

The Religion Bundle #1
eumelia: (diese religione)

I am Jewish today!

I was Jewish yesterday too, and I'll continue to be Jewish... forever, I guess.

I'm going to leave the Jewish navel gazing for the Days of Awe, when that's supposed to happen.

For now, to all who celebrate have a good evening and a happy new year, to all those who don't, a good Wednesday to you!

If you find a nice Jewish family that will take you in and feed you, do so! We make awesome food. Also, there's wine, honey and apple crumble/pie most of the time.

Enjoy a video, different from years past:

A big thank you to my BFF for introdusing me to these videos, they are amazing and moving. Check the rest out over at Symphony of Science.


Sep. 18th, 2010 10:35 am
eumelia: (coffee)
That's me.

This time of year always brings out the contemplative side of me.

Despite the gravity of it being Yom Kippur and Saturday (i.e. Shabbat), I'm feeling pretty up lifted. Such is the price of watching cartoons with my 4 year old Niece while the majority of the other adults have gone to while away the fast at synagogue.

I don't know if I mentioned this at the time, but the synagogue my family attends is a Conservative one, which is a non-Orthodox branch of Judaism, and quite possibly because of that it was vandalised by Jewligans the day before Rosh Ha'Shana.
My mom got an email from the shul's mailing list informing us that the front of the synagogue was graffitied with "יחי העם" which I can only translate as "Long Live the Folk" because that is the spirit in which it is intended and not the more democratic "Long Live the People".
Also, they threw eggs at the door.

This is very disturbing, because our area is not especially religious, I mean there are synagogues all over, but for a quorum you traditionally need ten men over the age of 13 and you can pray as a congregation so, meh.

Our town is quite secular and I doubt Settlers living 20 minutes away beyond the Green Line came in the night to deface a synagogue that doesn't do gender segregation and believes that taking into account social and technological advances are good things would take the time to inform the few hundred people who attend that they're traitors.

I think it was the kids from the local Bnei Akivah (a religious Zionist youth movement who have a branch close to the vicinity of the shul).

I contemplated attending services that day, just to show presence, but I couldn't handle the feeling of hypocrisy so I declined.
Last night I did attend, as I always do, in order to hear Kol Nidrei, as sung by the best Cantor in the world. He's very old now and there's a new Cantor in the shul (who apparently no one likes, I've never heard him so I can't give an opinion) because the Old Man is old. I was telling my dad that (may he live long and into prosperity) once the Old Man can't sing any more tradition will no longer be able to bring me to shul.
He gave me a sad look.
Guilt may still be able to drag me to synagogue once a year for half an hour.

My plans today are to walk the empty streets (because it's tradition in this country to not drive on Yom Kippur, so there are kids running around outside, riding on bikes and basically taking advantage of there being no cars) and watch Mad Men with my friend.

A good year to my Jewcy readers, have a nice weekend to my non-Jewcy readers.

Now, I'm going have a cup of coffee.
eumelia: (coffee)
I feel like I'm losing focus.

I'm all over the place. Writing here is a great outlet for my frustration, of which there are many, but I think perhaps it's just not that interesting for people to read about.

I haven't written about anything fannish lately and politics is nothing if not depressing, excessive and while important to me, could be really not interesting to others.

This is my space and I should write what I want, but this isn't a vacuum. I never wrote for myself. I want people to like what I write, or at the very least find it interesting. I know that sometimes you read something and you've got thinky-thoughts but don't exactly know what say about it, or even, if you have anything to add.

I'm like that, a lot.

So here's a focus.

Reading about the latest issue making the rounds, religion, I feel like I don't have a whole lot to add. It's not my issue.
But it is, as my previous entry clearly suggests, an issue I have to deal with.

I had spoken to my sister about the fact that I hate going to shul. She suggested that it's because I'm not close to the congregation. The thing is, even when I was a kid and our excursions to shul were much greater, I found it tedious. Even reading the portions that had nothing to do with the service were boring as they reminded me of my Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) lessons in school, which were a mish-mash of literature, history and mythology.

As a lover of mythology I tried to find parallels between the myths of Genesis and the Greek myths, all it did was confuse me, because Judaism is my religion and myths weren't real. But if Zeus isn't real... why is G-d real?
I wasn't taught about god from home, I had never heard my parents or siblings utter a word about a belief in a supernatural deity.
That wasn't the point.

The point is that I grew up struggling with the fact that I have no faith, in a faith based society. At first I thought the monotheistic deity just didn't suit me, so I had a pagan phase, the tendrils of which kept strong up to a couple of years ago in which I simply made the concious decision to stop trying to be something I'm not.

I can't not be Atheist. In the same way, I can't not be Jewish. I have too much history invested in that identity. Too much of why I am who I am comes from that blend of not-belonging in so many ways to so many avenues of society - being an Atheist Jewish person in Israel should have been a walk in the park.
Alas, that identity contains a large amount of frustration, anger and trauma, it makes me sceptical.

Fuck, did I mention the lack of focus?

Let me try and tighten that up.
I grew up with religion, but not religious. I grew up knowing I'm supposed to believe in god, but the gods to me are stories in a book. I grew up soul searching, only to conclude, that I have no soul. Just skin, flesh and brain matter, with billions of neurons making up the big soup that is Me.

However, as you've probably guessed, religion is an important facet of the human condition. If there's something I love, it's trying to understand things that are foreign to me. I do not get belief in the supernatural (god, monsters, demons and faeries), even when I was into paganism and its often tag-along cousin new-age, I was trying to get it and never properly did.

Being a sci-fi and fantasy reader, I'm open to the possibility that there are things I do not and cannot comprehend, that modern-science has some catching up to do... but that means that I dot not need to believe in things. You can't believe in things that really are.

All that aside. Religion has been used as a tool for destruction and I don't think religion is at all necessary to appreciate life, the universe and everything. I think religion, when it insists on categorising people as "Good", "Evil" and "Heretics", rather than as the singular beings that they are - humanity loses out.

And this is putting it mildly.

I can rant like the best of them as to why I consider faith-based ethics and the people who follow them to be less ethical than people who actually consider the law, not because "God Said So", but because they consider their fellow human, first!

But that's a post for another time, maybe in time for Pesach.
eumelia: (Default)
I was looking through my tags this winter morning, it is raining buckets and I'm all nice and cosy in front of the radiator and the cat is purring next to me shedding hair on my black track suit pants and sweatshirt.

I was looking through my tags, specifically the spirituality one and I sometimes wonder if I'm right in the head. Well, ha, if you read this post you know I'm a bit wonky when it comes to my brain.

After the Lebanon war I had a crisis of faith, not surprising, I wanted something to believe in. As a teen I had been interested in paganism and even did a few rituals and all that, but comic books and the philosophy of Belief being the basis of Faith and not the other way around kind of ruined me for religion.
Cut for Length )

I conduct my life as a Jewish Atheist. I love my holidays, they hold no religious significance to me. The history of my people is an interesting and brutal one, the stories in the Bible of my mythology along with the Odyssey and The Sandman.

Were I able to, I'd rather go through my life not needing to explain all this to people and make myself out as an Aggressive Atheist rather than the Apathetic Agnostic that I am.

Religion is used in far too many ways to excuse bad behaviour, from Creationism to Terrorism, from Occupation to Jihad, from Misogyny to Transphobia.

In the words of Eddie Izzard (who paraphrased Martin Luther):
Ein Minuten, Bitte. Ich habe einen kleinen problemo avec diese religione.
eumelia: (Default)
There's a meme.
Every where's a meme-meme.

The Tarot Card Meme )
eumelia: (Default)
Via [ profile] constintina:

The origins of Spock as the "Other", the "Outsider" and the Vulcan salute:

As an agnosto-atheist, the whole idea of the essence of god thing doesn't really do it for me.
However, I come from a family of Kohanim (the Priest tribe of the Jewish people) and the one time a year I do attend shul (synagogue) it's to hear and sing "Kol Nidrei" and to see my father and brother bless the congregation.
The shul my family attends isn't Orthodox, it's very egalitarian(1) - women wear kippah and tallitot, etc.

Everything Leonard Nimoy said there, I find it rings so true to the way I perceive Judaism, though not the kind that I ever experienced, nor do I think will I ever, considering where I am from and the fact that one must believe.
Which, as I've mentioned, I do not.
Like Roddenberry, I'd consider myself a Humanist, despite the problematic history of that word, but I'm a bit too Jewish for that so I like this(2) more than anything else.

(1)Though not enough for daughters of Kohanim to be able to go up to the Bimah and bless the congregation.
(2)Humanistic Judaism
eumelia: (Default)
Fasting is over.

I didn't go to Shul for the Neila (locking/closing prayer) of the Day and the Fast.
I'm fine with that.

I only went for Kol Nidre, as I do every year, mainly because I very much enjoy the dirge and singing with the whole congregation.

Today I mainly slept, craved coffee, brushed my teeth when my mouth began to get fuzzy, listened to some of my soft music and read a book.

The Fast this year didn't have as much oomph this year as last. I decided to reduce my consumption of dairy and not deprive myself of sea-food when I feel the want or the need, which is only when I'm in fish and sea-food restaurants, which isn't very often in any event.

The Fast is a very personal thing.

I have trouble explaining it to my secular friends who know that I'm a pretty irreverent person in regards to tradition and the fact that I'm fairly critical of religion in general.
Because Deity is non-entity in my life, for nothing more than a prism in which to look at humanity, and with belief and faith being things I have in Myself and that my own inclination towards the metaphysical has basically dwindled into nothing, I feel the need to explore why I do this one thing.
This Physical Deprivation, because it's no eating and drinking from sunset to sunset + three stars in the heavens.

Every year my family asks if I've ever spent so much time in shul (on the Eve of Yom Kippur which is when we say Kol Nidre) and every year I remind them I always stay 'till the end to listen to the singing and read the liturgy that emphasises humanity as a child/wife/lover/clay/ etc. etc. while GD is father/husband/kind/maker and breaker etc. etc.

This kind of transcendental theology never sat well with me.
Which is why once I was given the choice I didn't go to shul anymore, except on Erev Yom Kippur.

I can't really articulate why I Fast, it certainly isn't to do with the belief that during the Days of Awe our destinies are written out on the Book of Life, or that depriving myself physically will somehow cleanse me spiritually.

In any event, it wasn't a particularly fulfilling day in that respect.

Would be happy to hear opinions on this one. I'm sure everyone has at least one.
eumelia: (Default)
I'm blocked.

I have, like, lots of ideas for entires that may or may not be interesting to other people, but they're definitely interesting to me.
I mean, I've been reading all sorts of things critiques about the economic bail out and the economy in general, since many Lefties are calling for reform and saying "Nyah! We told you this system was bad *razzberry*".
I mean, it does sort of seem like that doesn't it?

In any event I'm not writing anything in depth about the economy, or the local political situation which may keep me from beginning University on time.
Fuck the ministry of finance!
You fucking suck!
Economic disparity is bad for everyone, but fuck fuckity fuck!!! If someone deserved to get their ass bitten in the current financial climate it would the minister of fucking finance, Bar-On - the two fingered slaute is way, WAY to mild for what I fantasize about happening to you - you greedy, over-paid, neo-liberal, lying, double dealing fascist shit!

And yes, I know, it's bad form to wish ill on anyone in general and specifically on the Eve of Yom Kippur, just before we're supposed to be Atoning for sins we committed amongst ourselves and God.
Screw it, okay?!
I'm an Irreverent Heretic no matter which way you look at it.
But yeah, Days of Awe will be done tomorrow and I must say... wasn't feeling too Awesome this year.
Last year I felt a much deeper connection to what was going on, even before we went to schul, but this year I think I'm in a spiritually numb place... or my peak has come and gone, or it's yet to come over Sukkot which is next week.
In any event.
Feck it.

I'll probably blog something nice, meta-ish or critique-y later on.
eumelia: (Default)
Though really it's just a response to the whole "God billboard" thing that you can find (mainly) in the US. We also have those, though they're not as, um, how you say? I dunno, theses billboards make it seem as though God were an actual person, and not a spiritual entity.

Though, I guess the whole Jesus thing kinda makes it easier to pretend God was/is/whatever a person.

This video was created by Mario DiGorgio of whom I'd never heard before. I first saw it here and [ profile] morin brought it my attention, so kudos to her!.
eumelia: (Default)
After three cups of coffee, an entire day of sleep and meeting with friends late in the evening, I finally feel normal again.

This year, unlike last, I didn't feel hungry at all, I actually didn't eat that much at the breaking of the fast, mainly drank and had a really drawn out supper.

It was a good day. It past quickly, I did my best to think positively and help my mother as much as I was able without falling asleep standing up - not eating and drinking took a lot out of me this year, I think I lost weight over the past few months.

Another thing that this contemplation brought upon is the fact that I really, really hate the religious institution in this country, the invidious restrictions and subtle oppression are so much more apparent to me for some reason. The Schul my family goes to is a part of the Conservative movement, which one of the more progressive movements in Judaism that still takes Hallacha into account, albeit with modern and contemporary interpretation.
Marriage through the Conservative institution isn't recognised as legal.
Female Rabbis aren't recognised as legitimate Rabbis by various rabbinical institutions in Israel.
Queer Jews, are at this point, invisible in the Conservative movement.
The validity three "R" movements (Reconstructionist, Renewal and Reform) are considered apocryphal in Israel.
In Israel, if you are Jewish, it is culturally appropriate to be either secular or religious, an in between stage, or religious-that-is-not-Orthodoxy just doesn't fit in with the way Israel is structured.
And it creates a huge divide in the Jewish population. As though there's any wonder we can't get along with "Other" people.

A point was supposed to be made, not really sure what it was. Something to do with Identity and political ramifications of all sorts of things, but it's after one AM and I'm tired.

In addition, the genocide in Darfur must be stopped.

וכמו כן, צריך לעצור את רצח העם בדרפור.
eumelia: (Default)
So I'm now fasting, no food or water for 25 (or is it 26) hours is how it goes for this Nice Jewish Girl.
I think it's the only time in the Jewish Calendar where I actually do the "Jewish" thing.

Yom Kippur is a spacial day, not because it's a the Holiest of all "holy"days, which it is, but because it's the time of year, as it's been culturally cultivated in Israel, as a quiet day. Truly quiet. There isn't any mainstream radio, nor mainstream television, everything is shut down, and the streets are empty, no cars, no buses, no traffic. Nothing the the click-click-click of bicycles zooming down the empty streets as children make the most of the free roads that come sun-set will be filled with people coming home from Schul and dying for that cup of coffee they've been craving ever since they've stopped ingesting sustenance.

For me, it's a day of contemplation, meditation, soft music, poetry, family, lounging, walking, talking little, waiting, watching, listening, thinking about the meaning of food and water and thinking about my life in general.

The whole Atonement thing is old for me, it doesn't fit into the way I view my life; I try to take responsibility for my transgressions against people at the time that it happened or at least as near as possible. I don't think people deserve a clean-slate every year, or the impression of a clean-slate. We have to take responsibility for what we do and remember them. Though the Day of Atonement is meant as a time between GD and humankind, most take it to mean a time to wash away the "sins" of the past year.
Frankly, if a person needs a special day in order to try and make better about the things that may or may not have hurt another person, then there are serious issues there, is all I'm saying.

Last year I was depressed. Very. I wasn't aware of this, but looking back I can see that I was still very much trying to ignore the repercussions of the War. No easy. I had decided to try and live more ethically and became a vegetarian, I don't feel as though I'm punishing myself, which is how i felt last year, I'm able to recongnise this now.
I also thought I should try and become a little more religious when it came to Judaism, but quite quickly realised that my spirituality isn't to be found anywhere where I must bow down to anyone, corporal or otherwise. GD in this kind of setting is irrelevant, because my spirituality comes to fulfill me and GD, whether this entity exists or not, has no bearing on my spirit.

And so once a year I wear white, walk with my family to Schul, sing Kol Nidrei, the beautiful dirge which cleanses us of the years nastiness, sing the rest of the prayers with all the rest of the congregation and then walk home and admire the peace (crazy cycling kids and all), the half moon, the beginning of autumn and admire the fact that I'm really lucky to be a alive and feel it so much more acutely because I'm denying my physical needs for one day.

A holy day.
Double that.
It fell on Shabbat.

And now I part you with the words of one of my favourite poets/singer-songwriters:
Who By Fire by Leonard Cohen )

In addition, the genocide in Darfur must be stopped.

וכמו כן, צריך לעצור את רצח העם בדרפור.

A Blessing

Aug. 15th, 2007 05:52 pm
eumelia: (queer)
The Jewish Reform Movement has published a blessing for sex change operation.

Can I just say... Rock On!

How often does this sort of thing happen?! I don't think I've ever been more proud of being a secular Jew-Girl :)

The article in Hebrew and English.

In addition, the genocide in Darfur must be stopped.

וכמו כן, צריך לעצור את רצח העם בדרפור.
eumelia: (Default)
The weather is suitably muggy and disgusting for a day like today.
Hopefully the haze that's making the bright light absolutely blinding will dissipate by noon thus making the humidity even more unbearable.

Last year the Solstice was in America, in Philadelphia, which at times seemed to rival the Israeli Coast's climate in terms of grossness.

Well, I'll go prepare for my little sun ritual... Finally the frangiopani incense I bought will come to good use.

I'll put on my "Ladies of the Canyon" CD seeing as Joni and especially that album always reminded me of summer.

Have a good day to all and holy one to you (and I) Earth Worshipers out there.

In addition, the genocide in Darfur must be stopped.

וכמו כן, צריך לעצור את רצח העם בדרפור.
eumelia: (Default)

שירי זיכרון ברדיו זה יפייפה ומדכא בו זמנית.
כיף, כמו שאומרים.

אני חשבתי שאכתוב איזשהו רישום על אנושיות, רחמים, היסטוריה שחוזרת על עצמה ואיך אנשים לא לומדים דבר מההיסטוריה שלהם או מהטעויות שאיתם אנחנו נאלצים לחיות, אבל אני לא צריכה יום שואה בשביל זה, אז יום אחר, בו אני לא מרגישה כל כך אופטימית.
כן אופטימית, מפתיע לא?

היום בעבודה, אני הרי מטפלת בתינוקת בת חצי שנה, אני חיממתי לה את בקבוק החלב וכשראיתי שהשעה כבר חמישה לעשר, לא ידעתי מה לעשות. הרי זה רק שתי דקות והתינוקת יכולה לחכות שתי דקות בזמן שאני עומדת בצפירה.
הבעיה היא שהיא התחילה לבכות, באסה.
את הרמתי אותה בדיוק כשהתחילה הצפירה וכשראיתי שבידיים היא רגועה, עמדתי במקומי ורק זזתי מצד לצד על מנת שלא תתחיל לבכות שוב.

אני חייבת לציין שזו הייתה חוויה, לשיר שיר ערש חרישי לתינוקת בזמן צפירה לזכר הנספים ביום השואה.
אני מאד שמחה שיצא לי להחזיק את כל הפוטנציאל בידיים בזמן שאנחנו אבלים על מי שאבד.

אז כן אופטימית.

רק חכו ליום הזיכרון לחללי צה"ל.

ורק כדי להראות שאני כן מרגישה את היום הסוריאליסטי הזה - הנה שיר:

אלי, אלי
שלא יגמר לעולם
החול והים,
רשרוש של המים,
ברק השמיים,
תפילת האדם.

החול והים,
רשרוש של המים,
ברק השמיים,
תפילת האדם.

"הליכה לקיסריה" מאת חנה סנש
eumelia: (Default)
This poem is one of my favourites, the first time I ever read it, I didn't understand the meanings behind Paul Celan's words. I just knew that they were meaningful and powerful in the way they were constructed and in what they conveyed.
Later on, when I was older, writing poetry of my own, I understood what Paul Celan had said and continued to say.
It resonates and hopefully, always will.

Todesfuge - Paul Celan )

פוגת-מוות - פאול צלאן )

Death Fugue - Paul Celan )


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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