When our synagogue heard about the horrific tragedy that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was at the same time that we were celebrating our festival of Shavuot, which celebrates God’s giving of the Torah.
As Orthodox Jews, we don’t travel or use the Internet on the Sabbath or on holidays, such as Shavuot. But on Sunday night, as we heard the news, I announced from the pulpit that as soon as the holiday ended at 9:17 p.m. Monday, we would travel from our synagogue in Northwest Washington to a gay bar as an act of solidarity.
We just wanted to share the message that we were all in tremendous pain and that our lives were not going on as normal. Even though the holiday is a joyous occasion, I felt tears in my eyes as I recited our sacred prayers.
I had not been to a bar in more than 20 years. And I had never been to a gay bar. Someone in the congregation told me about a bar called the Fireplace, so I announced that as our destination. Afterward, I found out it was predominantly frequented by gay African Americans.
Approximately a dozen of us, wearing our kippot, or yarmulkes, went down as soon as the holiday ended. Some of the members of our group are gay, but most are not. We did not know what to expect. As we gathered outside, we saw one large, drunk man talking loudly and wildly. I wondered whether we were in the right place. Then my mother, who was with me, went up to a man who was standing on the side of the building. She told him why we were there. He broke down in tears and told us his cousin was killed at Pulse. He embraced us and invited us into the Fireplace.
We didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out that we had so much in common. We met everyone in the bar. One of the patrons told me that his stepchildren were actually bar-mitzvahed in our congregation. Another one asked for my card so that his church could come and visit. The bartender shut off all of the music in the room, and the crowd became silent as we offered words of prayer and healing. My co-clergy Maharat Ruth Friedman shared a blessing related to the holiday of Shavuot, and she lit memorial candles on the bar ledge. Then everyone in the bar put their hands around each other’s shoulders, and we sang soulful tunes. After that, one of our congregants bought a round of beer for the whole bar.
Everyone in the bar embraced each other. It was powerful and moving and real and raw.
After that we moved to the outdoor makeshift memorial service at Dupont Circle. There, too, we did not know what to expect. But as we gathered around the circle, people kept coming up to us and embracing us. One man we met there told us that his daughter sometimes prays with us. Others were visiting from Los Angeles but joined in full voice, clearly knowing the Hebrew words to the song we were singing.
As we were singing, I looked over at some gay members of our congregation and saw tears flowing down their faces. I felt the reality that we are living in a time of enormous pain. But I also felt that the night was a tremendous learning experience for me. I learned that when a rabbi and members of an Orthodox synagogue walk into a gay African American bar, it is not the opening line of a joke but an opportunity to connect; it is an opportunity to break down barriers and come together as one; it is an opportunity to learn that if we are going to survive, we all need each other.
I don’t think this article got very much traction last year, but I wanted to share it again.
Part 3 of the American Diner, a collaboration project by @daer0n and me. All the stuff that we used in the previews is part of this set, so if there’s anything you want, but is not included in this part, check out part 1 & part 2.
Some of the items have slots so you can put things inside / stack them up. A few bar counter islands are “empty” so you need the glass blocks and place them inside.
Included items in this set are: Checkered Island counters (4), Glass for the island counters (2), Tray (stackable, slotted), Coffeemaker (non-functional, slotted), Coffeepot, Counters (5), Coffee can, Island Ceiling blocks (2, rounded and squared) (deco), Round barstool, Spoon, Coffeecups (3), Glasses (8), Menu cards (2), Straw Holder, Neon sign coffee, Cake slice, Soda dispenser (non-functional, slotted), Wall shelves (5), Bottles (2), Black and white ceiling block, Fridge (non-functional, slotted) and plates (3, 1 of them is stackable).
since everyone loves the beauty and the beast au so much i redraw these screencaps i saved a while ago???????? john needs to stop fighting wolves and yelling at alex for tryin to help (dw alex but him in his place by bein like “listen bitch im trying to help u”)
Designed by John M. Browning and manufactured by New England Small Arms Corp. c.WW2 - serial number 515648. .30-06 20-round removable box magazine, gas-operated select fire. These guns’ cool factor is off the chart.
On sale Aug 16 • 3-pack shot glass set • $14.99 When Shadow Moon enters the employ of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday in the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, a new world unfolds. They seal the deal in the Crocodile Bar, drinking three shots: one is the charm, one is the compact, one is the seal. You can try this at home with our new three-pack of custom shot glasses. Packaged in a full-color box with a photo of the scene and explanation of the deal.
Okay this requires y’all to follow my wacky stream of consciousness so bear with me. I’m sitting at work during a particularly slow graveyard shift and it’s 3am. I’m reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The God Odin and the Goddess Bastet make appearances ( I won’t mention how big or small because no one likes spoilers! ) It’s common knowledge that Odin is often referred to as being one-eyed. It’s also common knowledge that Bastet is the Goddess of cats and is depicted with the head of a black cat. So the book is very good and it’s got me thinking of deities, and how they do or don’t play a role a in my life depending on if I believe or don’t. I briefly wonder what a child of Odin and Bastet might have looked like if in some wobbly universe they had offspring. I go to look out the back door at the stars to contemplate the gods when I see this:
Guys, it’s a one-eyed cat! A black one to boot! We live in a hilarious, wacky universe! I’m not a believer in deities, but I do believe the universe has sense of humor.