Friday, December 17, 2010

10th of Tevet

Last night I chanted the kaddish prayer for the dead, standing at the
intersection of Ocean Parkway and 18th Avneue in Brooklyn. A few dozen
of us huddled together, queer and not, Jewish and not, at the Queer
Rising rally aimed at stopping hatred towards LGBT members of the
Jewish community. The area where we had been marching and were now
chanting is where many of the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox rabbis who
regularly rail against the abomination of the queer lifestyle are
living and preaching. But we didn't come to protest. We came to pray.
I was holding a memorial candle, lit tonight as it is done every year
in my Orthodox family's home on this Jewish date, The Tenth of Tevet.
honoring the memory of those who died in the Holocaust for whom there
is no grave or date of death. There are millions such victims of
racism and hate, my Grandmother among them.  These victims are unburied but not
forgotten. I said the kaddish for her tonight on Ocean Parkway,
lit the candle with her memory in mind, but stood there in Brooklyn
moored in the here and now: proud and loud, cold but warm with the
knowledge that here we are, a bunch of crazy, freezing people saying
yes to the deepest values of human dignity and worth, saying no to
hate, yes to trust, lighting up the night with flickers of stubborn
hope that more of us will walk the big talk and make it matter more
in the name of all of who ever suffered indignation and hate: never,
never again.

Bravo to Jake Goodman of Queer Rising for making tonight happen. Proud
and loud, over and out. Memories turned into blessing.

Shabbat Shalom!

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