Archives for August 2006

How To Make a Baby- A Kids Book

Boing Boing has a link to one of the most interesting kids books I have seen in a while.

These pictures are among the tamest in the book. I am certainly not prude, but this book is a little out there.

Or maybe not.

You make the call.

A Quick Roundup of Posts

Here is a snapshot of what I blogged about:

If You Died, Who Would Take Care Of Your Children
Frum & Gay

CNN Reporter- You Left Your Microphone On
Not All Values Are Equal- Moral Superiority

Another Day, Another Funeral- It is Elul

You might also enjoy reading these older posts:

The Supermarket
I Yelled At G-d
The Search For Answers About Our Ourselves

If You Died, Who Would Take Care Of Your Children

An icon illustrating a parent and child

An icon illustrating a parent and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you ever want to kill a conversation. If you ever want to change the tone into something more somber and muted ask a parent if they have made plans for where the children would live if something happened to them.

It is a frightening topic. It is a hard topic. It is uncomfortable to consider what would happen to your children if they were to lose their parents. It is painful to think about a future in which you do not participate.

It is a discussion that you have to have. As a parent you have to take the time to consider all of the angles. If the worst happens, who gets the kids. Who do you trust to raise them. If the worst happens is there someone who can provide for them. Is there is friend or family member who you can rely upon to take care of your children.

Will they respect your wishes and impart the same values upon them that you would. And assuming that you have someone in mind that you would like to act as a surrogate parent, will they be capable of taking this responsibility on.

One of my sisters and I recently spent time talking about this. We live on opposite coasts. She is on the Frigid East and I am out here in the Sunny West. Neither one of us is likely to pick up and move any time soon so if anything happened there is a good chance that the kids would find that their worlds had been turned upside down in every possible way.

Of course this is only a hypothetical, a worst case scenario that we hope never develops into any sort of twisted reality.

But you know the old saying, people plan and G-d laughs. As we head into another new year I ask again to be given the opportunity to see my job through. At a minimum I need another 100 years or so.

I’d like to meet my great-grandchildren. Is that so much to ask for.

Frum & Gay

Welcome to the ten minute post. Yes, that is right. This post was composed in ten minutes. Let’s see if it actually makes sense.

The impetus for this particular post is a result of the discussion taking place over at A Whispering Soul. I’d like to pick out a couple of sections and briefly comment on them.

“The Orthodox community has been notoriously slow in dealing with issues they are uncomfortable with, or which they would like to pretend do not exist (domestic abuse, childhood sexual abuse, etc.). With regard to the issue of homosexuality, I am certain there is a great deal of homophobia that comes into play in the Orthodox world. The advice normally given by Rebbeim in the past to “just get married and it will go away” clearly indicates a lack of understanding of the issues involved on the part of the Rebbeim, not to mention being horribly unfair to the individual concerned and their unsuspecting spouse.

With the recent coming out of the principal of Flatbush Yeshiva, who has stated that he can no longer be Orthodox, and the film Trembling Before God, which explores the lives and struggles of “gay Orthodox Jews, ” and with more young Orthodox Jews coming out, Orthodox Jewry is being confronted with the issue like never before. In the last year alone, I have heard four different shabbat sermons delivered at different shuls on the topic. Most advocate compassion. While that is a start, it is not enough.

No, I don’t know what the answer is, because there is no answer. I have a hard time believing that HaShem would seemingly be so cruel as to expect someone to lead a life without love or a life of celibacy, but the Torah is also fairly clear. In the end, we don’t know HaShem’s reasons, and really it doesn’t matter what the reasons are. I guess what I would like to see is for Orthodoxy to better understand the issues involved and see beyond the homophobia; to set up a framework to allow those who want to stay Orthodox but not indulge their sexuality to not feel left out of the community; and not to shun those who struggle.

I appreciate MCAryeh’s candor and his sensitivity. It is not a black and white issue, no matter how badly some people might want it to be. If you maintain the immutability of Torah than the matter would in theory have an easy answer. You can be homosexual, you just cannot act upon the desire.

To me it is not that simple. I cannot accept nor believe that there is an omnipotent creator who set up this sort of stumbling block for people. I cannot accept nor believe in answers such as “G-d has a plan, we just don’t know what it is.”

Comments like that tend to infuriate me. I once heard someone tell a group of survivors something similar. I wanted to throttle him. Are you trying to tell me that survivors of one of the greatest horrors ever seen by mankind should be comforted because they are part of some unexplainable celestial plan.

No Way. It is unacceptable.

At some point in time you have to wonder about it all. You have to ask yourself if the concept of immutability is valid and even if it is, has man corrupted it. That is, if man is fallible have we gotten it wrong. Have we made a mistake in our understanding and interpretation and are we passing this mistake down through the generations.

What do you think?

CNN Reporter- You Left Your Microphone On