Friday, November 20, 2015

We and I are not an Island

We hear the news
See a tweet
Read a post
Watch a video
But why
He is
A thousand miles away
We never met
We never spoke
Before today
I never knew his name
Geographical distance
Emotional separation
Never divides
A national connection
A communal responsibility
For him
For his family
His school
His community
We are all hurting
My little island
Has become
A state
A country
A world
We are all connected
We have built bridges to one another
We have found a way
To find each other
And I
Are not an island

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Judaism

My Judaism wants to be bright and beautiful; something filled with light and laughter

(My Judaism is tested too often that I feel dark and grey; I have little energy to keep trying)

My Judaism loves to hear the sound of a child singing Anim Zemiros, of little voices saying Shema with eyes covered; of clear and strong children chanting Torah after Rebbe.

(My Judaism has to believe that there are sick children for a reason, a reason too great and terrible for me to understand. My Judaism strives to find meaning in illness and light in dark places. But still, I struggle to understand why families move into the hospital, why poison is pumped like candy, but tastes like death and still, children die.)

My Judaism knows my prince is out there and that G-d will not let me be single forever.

(My Judaism doesn't get how the system we have marries people off when it feels so flawed and broke, but I continue to play into its trite demands.)

My Judaism believes in the power of unity, wishes to find connection where the chain is broken, and hopes to repair the cracks so many fall though.

(My Judaism knows we will all be together one day, happy, healthy and whole)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Judiasm: Sarah Tuttle Singer

I have been following Sarah's writings for a little while. She is feisty, and fierce. She speaks openly about her opinions, thoughts.... this one spoke to me. I don't neccessarily agree with everything she writes, but her raw honesty is so refreshing in a world where we taboo so much.

My Judaism is a wild dance, red wine on my lips, Uncle Robert on guitar, and AuntCaren on tambourine. My Judaism is my father bellowing the wrong words in Hebrew because he chose our tribe when my mom chose him, and he's still learning, and he will never give up.

(My Judaism is not afraid of failing, because I know I'll get it right some day. )

My Judaism chose not to be a mother at 19, to ask for help where she knew she would find it: And my Judaism is the rabbi who looked into my frightened eyes and said "anything you need."

(My Judaism accepts the past, makes peace with it, and moves ahead.)

My Judaism held my mother in her arms when she took her last breath, in the very bed where she nursed me when I was a baby. My Judaism screamed FUCK CANCER at the top of my lungs, then smashed a mirror, and tore her shirt.

(My Judaism will not say "blessed is the true judge," because cancer is bullshit, and my mom should still be alive. )

My Judaism is latkes and presents and spinning the dreidel, and being tucked safely into bed at night with the doll my parents got me for Hanukkah. My Judaism is guiding my daughter's hand when she lights the candles on Shabbat, it's pouring grape juice in a glass of my son so he can lead kiddush. It's sprinkling salt on challah, and breaking it for the three of us. My Judaism is imagining what's next, and how to make the world a better place.

(My Judaism is, and was, and will be. )

And for now, today, I'll drink more wine, and celebrate this sweet new week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Alternate Options

He says he is done. No more. He won't do it. The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." And that's what he thinks is happening here. He is young. He is frustrated. He is trying to make sense of heart ache. His heart has been broken too many times. He has been tortured. Abused. This system chewed him up and spit him out. He is different. Looks different. Believes different. Dresses different. And because of that, now he wants to marry different. Different religion. This one just isn't working for him anymore.
And what can I say.
What can I do?
I am just as burnt out. I am just as angry and frustrated. My heart has been broken too many times to count (if you have been here long enough, you have read about it.)
So how can I tell him, that despite all the heartbreak, the hour-long dates ending in disappointment, the countless resumes that are just so wrong, there is still hope. I still believe. I believe that G-d will not let me remain single forever. Just long enough.
Can I tell him that the waiting sucks but it will be worthwhile? Can I tell him that if he marries someone who is not like him, at the fundamentals of his existence, that THAT will break my heart even more?
What can I tell him?

Friday, October 16, 2015

This Sinking Ship

Save us please
From this sinking ship
It has been raining for days
The earth has been soaked
The rivers
Have overflowed
There is a rising tide
And no where to hide
The world has wiped us away
And all that remains
Is this ship
Held up only by our faith
Which is being shaken
There are enemies
So cruel
So evil
And they are trying to tear us apart
Shoot holes in our hull
Bring us under the surface
Drown us
They have drowned us
In our tears
In our blood
They won't cease
Until we cease to exist
But You promised
40 days, 40 nights
And the flood would end
But can we last that long?
Give us a sign
Give us something to hold onto
Something to believe in
We believe
That there will be peace
That the world will return
To order and truth
You showed us your promise
Now end the waves of terror
End the floods of incitement and force
Return us to a world
Where your might is the only thing we fear
And Your power
Takes our breath away
A world
Where tears do not soak the earth
Rather they are only shed for happiness

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Only Tuesday?

This has been the kind of week that makes you want to crawl under the covers, hit the rewind, restart, do-over, undo and escape button all at once.
Too much sad news. So many people getting hurt. So much heartache.
I couldn't sleep Motzei Shabbos. She was in my dreams. She was posing for pictures... if only I could have captured them. Her tznius, her beautiful face... what a special neshama. If only there was more I did or said.
And then the kind of news that makes you shudder and squirm. A classmate and a questionable substance. What was so bad that she thought drugs were the answer? Did she have no one to turn to?
And then... a kid...  I was supposed to meet her. People got busy. And now she is dead.
And to think, almost a year ago, G-d decided this would happen. In a sense, they were dead before they died because it would happen whether they tried to prevent or not, whether they made a different choice or not...
This world. This life. This crazy existences.
Makes you think twice, think long and hard about what you will say to G-d next week. What you will ask of Him.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Heat

I lost my way this summer
I thought I had a plan
It was all mapped out
The way things went about
Like a train wreck
Fueled by rocket fuel
Lit on fire by a volcano
Crashed into by a plane
It was pretty ugly
Pretty awful
It felt like
Every wall was moving in
Every window shut tight
Doors locked
Lights off
It was pretty awful
And when I felt like I couldn't breathe
When the room was spinning
And I was sliding into despair
I woke up today
And things
Aren't quite as bad as they were then
The summer
Is just a memory
And tomorrow
Is a mystery
That I am excited to uncover
It was pretty awful
But it wasn't the end
It isn't over
I am not finished
Nice try haters
You can try to tie me down
But I'll get out
Get around
Make some noise
Make a sound
And break through my own silence

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I keep writing these words hoping one day I'll find the right ones to either bring you back or set me free


I have been trying to write
To find some way
To express
My anger
I ache
Trying to write
Some word
To capture
A spectrum of emotions
So wild
And wicked
So instead
I will bottle them up
Shake them
Til they burst
And maybe the words I need
Wi come forth.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Go back

If i could go back
And fix the mistakes I made
the words i said
i never
meant to hurt you
i wanted to be amazing
i wanted to create art
and design
i didn't give you a chance to 
learn the ropes
and develop the feel
i went in for the kill
and now
im at a loss for words
have nothing 
left to say
because no words
no nothing
can fix this
i am sorry
forgive me
being a psycho
there are no excuses
but it is a nightmare in my head
i wish i had woken up sooner

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Journeys (From the Archives)

There are questions
And answers
My view of the skyline
Shows how we have triumphed
And my view from the sky
Shows our scars
The streets tangle into memories
That transverse time
And remind me
Of why the pain felt so good
And the joy felt so strong
It was a searing reminder
Of why life is so wonderful
Even when things go so wrong
The journey led me to strangers
Who eventually became family
When there was no one else
There was always you
And so when I draw my map
All roads will lead me home
Even if I miss the turn
I'll know that my compass points you
And will return me to where I left
And where I have dreamed of coming back to

Friday, July 31, 2015


The conflict of this poem is that I cannot find any peace or comfort in writing it. It feels awkward and uncomfortable. For the first time, I think I will publish an incomplete piece. And find comfort in my own short-comings.
For once.

From where
Will comfort come from
When all of our comforts
Have betrayed us
Batteries dead
Clothing torn
Food spoiled
Jobs lost
Hearts broken
Love lost
Lives take
Can we be comforted
When we feel so uncomfortable
My skin is wrong
I was born in the wrong body
My flesh is a prison
My mind, a locked door
Some imbalance holds they key
But somehow
You will comfort me
The world
Has gone a little mad
Stabbings in the street
Distorted perception of love
But somehow
We shall be comforted
All the pain

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Take Me

Take me

Take all of me

You can have my heart

You can have my soul

Take my sorrow, take my pain

Take my yesterdays and tomorrow

I am a vessel, cracked and chipped

For without being broken

Where would the light shine through

Darkness exists

Simply to be illuminated

So illuminate me

So that I may be a light for others

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mean What You Say, Say What You Mean, Mean What You Feel

It's kind of frightening
To be so honest
To say the rawest of truths
No matter how cruel
Would you rather I sugar coat
And live obliviously
I want to feel like
In every painful moment
So that every moment of joy
Is that much stronger
More to savor
More to enjoy
I didn't expect to feel relieved
But I felt angry
That you had such power over me
To make me feel so inferior
But now
I am superior
And although what we had is lost
And it came at a heavy cost
No longer will I live in a lie
Or cry
Over a boy
Who couldn't bother to say goodbye.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


It still scares me sometimes
How fine I feel
How everything is ok
And I am in a good place
And then
And then
I see your face
I hear your name
My heart stops short
*Press restart*
Start system in safe mode
I thought I felt safe
I thought I felt ok
But then it all comes back
Like a power surge
The years of wanting
And waiting
The crushing disappointment
I never thought I could cry
For something I never had
And never will

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friday Afternoon

On a warm Friday afternoon
Long before the sun has set into a cool night
A group of people come together
And for a time, the world feels so right
There is a guitar or two
And men who feel their souls
They sing, they dance
As if they have clouds inside their soles
There is no weight in their heart
They can just embrace the day of rest
If every prayer could sound like this
Then the world would be so blessed
With every song, a new circle is formed
Their voices grow louder and stronger
For some it feels like eternity
But I wish this could go on longer
For just an hour or so
I feel like G-d is dancing here too
He joins hands with each of us
And shares His joy in all that is try
In a side room somewhere
A small minyan comes together
And although it's just for a Friday evening
I wish it could go on forever.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Disabilities Do Not Have to Disable

You look at me
The label that you see
The words on a paper
That describe 
Everything I am not
I can not
I will not
You have checked a list
For my dysfunctions
And with that
I am put into a class
Of people who are
I have a disability
But I am not disabled
Because what that paper does not say
Is that I
Love to sing
And run
And dance
I love to be held
And most of all
I love to be loved
To be treated like any other
Maybe I do not reach the typical milestones
But in my world
The miles are not as painful
Because I enjoy every step
Can the same be said for you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I have held my tongue
I have tried to hard
Not to comment
To criticize
My city
Has been in flames
My community
Has been scared
And I
Have been riddled with anxiety
This is not the way
The world should look
Those who aim to protect those
Who aim to riot
Against those
Who protect
Those who riot
And it becomes
A never ending
Circle of
Hatred and destruction
And what do we accomplish?
What do we teach our children?
I believe there are problems
That need solutions
I believe
There are hearts that are aching
And suffering
But what if we
Band of brothers
Decided to be the good
To be the change
The world
Could look so different
But instead
We take to the streets
With rocks and weapons
And loot our own neighbors
And that creates justice?
I am a small voice
And I should say nothing at all
But to be honest
It hurts to see this
It hurts to know that this can happen
And it hurts more to know
There is nothing I can do.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I am divergent
I am the anomaly
They tried
Not to answer
I ask questions
That are questionable
There are no sources
For what seduces my mind
And sometimes I find myself
If right and wrong
Are so black and white
Cuz I feel so heavy
Hanging near the light
And the darkness is just oh so tempting
Give me a little fun
And no regrets
One and done
That's all it has to be
So follow me
Down this rabbit hole
And see you on the other side
Of wonder

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Is love sensible
Or can it be
Can it make a sane mind
Lost to find
If we lose ourselves
Will we find
The other half
This path
To completion
Is riddled with riddles
And jacked up with jokes
I have to laugh
At what has passed
It has taught me more
Than any lesson
It does not lesson
The need to find
My hearts' mind
Found in the hand
Of another
Yet there is not other
Except you
Too true
I will search
I will find
I will be fine

Sunday, March 22, 2015

After the Fire

They are debating your goodness
And questioning your kindness
They wonder about your love
And contest your concern
It was a fire
An inferno of uncontrollable destruction
But your affection
Is boundless as well
It it within our finite minds
That we limit your infinite wisdom
And try to make boundaries
Within which to understand
This tragedy
Because it is a tragedy
It is an awful, horrific
Heart wrenching, mind numbing tragedy
But you
Are the remedy
You give the cure
Before the curse
And we
Your children
Have to simply ask for it
And there it is

Baruch Dayan HaEmes
You are the true judge


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