end of holidays : (

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Opinion | What happened when an Orthodox Jewish congregation went to a gay bar to mourn Orlando
The Orlando attack fell during Shavuot, a joyous Jewish holiday.

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.

procraesthetics  asked:

I wonder what would happen if Dudley grew up in the wizarding world but still as a muggle? like kind of reverse AU where his parents are dead and he has to go to Lily for whatever reason? do you think he would become bitter like Petunia about magic?

Lily remembered her sister, how there had been a time she was curious and delighted about magic, before it slowly sank in that she could look and not touch.

The last thing Petunia had said to Lily before she died was a chilly goodbye, ending a holiday dinner where they’d had a shrieking row in the entryway. Petunia had said freak and Lily had hissed better than this, better than this being my whole fucking world, Tune, do you even see yourself, are you happy–

And now here was Dudley Vernon Dursley fussing himself to sleep as Lily walked the halls of the Godric’s Hollow house. His tiny soft hands with their tiny soft fingernails curled under her chin, the same way Harry always had.

She passed James, who was gently bouncing his way up the hall the opposite way. “I think he’s asleep,” James mouthed over Harry’s tousled head. His hair was the same mess, bent down to peer at his sleeping son.

Lily stopped where she stood, her nephew heavy on her chest, her husband smiling, her sister buried. “James,” she said. “How are we going to do this?”

“Oh,” he said. “Hey. Don’t you cry, you’ll start them off– unless you need to cry, I mean, you go ahead, hey, sweetheart, hey, it’s alright, you just let it out.” He stepped forward, shifting Harry gently to his other shoulder, and pressed his forehead to hers. “We tuck them in, okay, that’s what we do next. Then we go to our own bed, okay, and go to sleep, and when we wake up it’ll be a new day.”

“A new day,” she said. “Another day– James, that’s the– I’m so tired.”

“So let’s sleep. It’ll look better in the morning,” he said. “And if it doesn’t look better this morning, it’ll look better in the next one.”

“You promise?”

“Better than that. I’ll show you. Every day,” he said and kissed her cold forehead.

Dudley had not shown up on the Potters’ doorstep with the milk bottles. Lily had gotten a phone call from the landline she still had installed in Godric’s Hollow, about an accident, and she had gone down to the Muggle police station to identify the bodies.

The cupboard under the stairs was filled with spiders, broomsticks, and the sewing machine Lily’s mother had given her when she married James– that’s all. Dudley slept downstairs. Uncle Remus taught Dudley and Harry to knock out coded messages through the wall their rooms shared.

In the backyard, beside a rickety porch and an ambitious hedge, James taught them to fly– first on little tot brooms where their toes brushed the grass the whole time, then out of the barrels of practice brooms James used for lessons and coaching Little League Quidditch.

When the boys turned ten, five weeks apart, they both got shiny new Nimbuses on Dudley’s birthday (which came first), and a set of enchanted Quidditch balls on Harry’s, to share. The Bludgers were enchanted to be very kind but Dudley spent long afternoons whacking them far afield while Harry chased the Snitch at his back.

Harry had a scar on his forehead, like a jagged bit of lightning. Dudley had no scars– the car crash that had killed his parents hadn’t touched him where he sat strapped into a car seat in the back, chewing on a stuffed dinosaur toy.

Lily did not believe in lying to the children. She was bare years off being a child herself, and spare moments on the far side of a war. When Dudley asked about his parents, she told him there had been an accident. She pulled pictures off the shelf and wrote Petunia’s old university friends for more.

Photographs came by mailman, the images still and unnatural to Dudley’s eye. Every day he’d gone out to play, for years, he’d been waving at the picture near the back door of his aunt and uncle on their wedding day, and they waved back every time.

“She was very clever,” Lily said. “Your mom liked to know everything.”

“And my dad?”

“Vernon liked… cars?” James offered. “That’s the word, right, Lily?”

“I didn’t know him very well,” Lily said. “He liked drills, I think; he worked for a firm that made them, and he talked about that a lot.”

Dudley brushed his thumbs over the dull edges of the photos. When Lily went off to Auror headquarters the next morning for work, James bundled the boys up and took them on an impromptu invisible tour of Grunnings Drill Manufacturing Inc.

They tiptoed down halls and past water coolers and ringing fellytones. They held hands under the Cloak as they dodged around the machines on the manufacturing floor, thumping and pounding and whirring away loudly enough that Harry and Dudley could whisper to each other under the noise. An elevator took them all the way up to the top floor. Harry whistled cheerily and eerily along with the elevator music while the Muggles slowly edged toward the doors and pressed floor buttons lower than they’d originally wanted.

There were boxes and cabinets and folders and desks and staticky monitor screens full of numbers strewn in endless grids. “Merlin’s knuckles,” said Harry, who was seven and a half and rather proud of this expletive. “People can look at this all day, their whole lives, and not die?”

“Work is hard work,” said James.

“At least mum gets to curse things.”

“But my dad liked it?” Dudley said, peering at a white board that was bleeding enthusiastic marker. “There’s a lot of things, here. Maybe he liked knowing things, too.”

When the boys asked about the scar on Harry’s forehead, Lily and James looked at each other. “You know how sometimes we sit with Uncle Remus and talk about a war?” James said. “Or with Ms. Amelia or Mr. Mundungus.”

“Mr. Mundungus is kinda smelly,” Harry said helpfully.

“It’s not nice to say so though,” said James, and Lily made a face.

“Are we raising them to be nice?” Lily said.

“I’m trying,” said James.

“You talk about a war,” said Harry and shrugged. Dudley nodded.

“There was a very bad man, in those days,” said James.

“Voldemort,” said Lily, and James made a face.

“He was so scary a lot of people don’t like to say his name, even now,” said James. “And he was coming after us because we had been fighting against him, in the war. He came to the house and he tried to hurt you, Harry. But it didn’t work. It hurt him instead, and gave you that scar.”

“Is he going to come back?” said Dudley, who was paler than his normal pink.

“No one’s heard of him since then,” said Lily.

“Where were you?” said Harry, because all his life they had been right there.

“Oh,” said Lily, but her throat closed up.

“We were at Dudley’s mum and dad’s funeral,” said James. “Our friend– our friend Sirius was watching you two. The bad man, he came to the house. He. Well. I.”

“Sirius died,” said Lily, one hand squeezing James’s knee and the other reaching down to brush hair off Dudley’s forehead. “You lived, Harry, and Voldemort vanished. And that’s why sometimes people stare in the streets, baby.” James tweaked Harry’s collar absently.

Two days after they had buried Lily’s sister, the Potters had stood together in the first chills of November and buried James’s brother.

Sirius had been burned off the Black family tree years before. Lily and James had talked to his cousin Andromeda, to Remus, and then they had laid him to rest in the Potter family plot. At the wake, they’d told old jokes about squirrel breath, shedding, and man’s best friend. Remus had fallen asleep on their couch and stayed for a month.

It took a two hour row with HR for Lily to get two passes to the Ministry’s Bring Your Kid To Work Day.

“He’s a Muggle.”

“He’s not,” Lily snapped. “He’s family.”

She had to get permission, sign a million forms, and she also had to take the boys in early so that Dudley could get smothered in the spells that would keep the Anti-Muggle wards around the Ministry from activating on him. “If a Muggle stumbles in somehow, they just see a funny-smelling supply cabinet and turn back around,” Lily told Dudley. He nodded and dragged Harry off by the wrist to go look at the fountain.

The windows were pouring sunlight into the underground room– the maintenance workers had just gotten a win on their contract negotiations and had banished the grimy rain-spattered windows of the previous weeks. The light hit the falling water, the golden statues, and the small excitable crowd of Ministry dependents who were gathering in the atrium. Dudley was fishing about in the fountain for Knuts to toss back out again, elbow-deep, and Harry was laughing and coming up with weird wishes to make on them.

Lily hadn’t said son. She’d said family, and that was true enough, wasn’t it? She didn’t say son– she had a son, and she had a nephew, a ward, another child who came to her after nightmares and scraped knees. It was not less, it was just words.

Lily worried about stealing more things from Petunia. Tuney had shrieked at her, in ladies’ restrooms and suburban foyers, had hissed at her in grocery store aisles and family dinners, because Lily got everything. And now Lily had her son.

Lily could just imagine it– could just see Petunia’s face twisting and chin stabbing at the air. You could have anything, and you took my son– my son!

“You left him to me,” Lily whispered, but that wasn’t quite right. “You left,” she whispered, and that wasn’t quite right either, so she strode off toward the fountain to ask the boys if they wanted to go see the Auror spellwork ranges. Dudley’s sodden shirt sleeves dripped all over the Ministry floors. Harry’s hair fell down into his eyes and they both grinned bright enough to rival the spelled sunlight.

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Somewhat loosely based on Chapter 14 of World’s End Holiday. PLEASE GO GIVE IT A READ GUYS \o/

cropped this from the original size (A5) because it lost the focus on Yuuri and Viktor otherwise. Oh well. And how to draw the characters older. And how to draw proper bionic hand without actually extending it to elbow part. e__e’

Cross-post: Twitter

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happy holidays, mysme fandom!

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I needed practice and fanfiction titles seemed to be pretty good guinea pigs!!

Anyway, these are some (actually very few) of the stuff I’ve read (and re-read) in the past few weeks following a pretty long hiatus from reading fics (if that makes sense). The exceptions would be 12th Winter, which is @minatu​ ‘s mafia AU doujinshi, and Cherry Kisses and Dark Magic and Teleos Magna, which I wrote (and still haven’t finished, in TM’s case………hahahahahah- *cold sweating*)

Here are the other fics!

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27.8.16 85 hours +55 minutes/100 hours

And suddenly, I realise that I have a bunch of work pushed towards the end of my holiday. Note that I’m NOT USUALLY LIKE THISヾ(×× ) ツ. Oh well… I’ll have to push through to 100 hours of Korean to complete the challenge, and also find out ways to continue my studies and energise my determination as the school year begins…

I love you on a Monday
When the world is too busy hating
When the office is too noisy preparing
My hearts does a somersault knowing you’ll be there waiting
And as I jump out of the car running late,
I love you in between adrenaline rates
I love you on a Monday date

I love you on a Tuesday
As I catch a glimpse of you working
On a requirement due an hour of submitting
I would walk up to you hoping
That you would look up noticing
That despite the colors from an artwork you’re painting
The static from my eyes are still more electrifying
Because yours do
And always will
I love you on a Tuesday

I love you on a Wednesday
When twenty minutes of break feels like seconds
When your smiles feel like weapons
And every word is a powerful opinion
That targets my heart in every direction
Every joke is a doorway
Every moment is on replay
Going home late was suddenly okay
I love you more on a Wednesday

I love you on a Thursday
When I ramble about books and comments
And you don’t care about my looks and nonsense
When you remind me of today’s contents
Of happiness, songs, movies, and events
I suddenly wish I have the power to prevent
The curtains from closing this extent
The hours ending from today,
Your hands on mine promising ‘someday’
And when we reach the finish line of today’s raceway,
Remember that I love you on a Thursday

I love you on a Friday
When everyone is busy planning their night
And me hoping everything is alright
As you walk towards my desk in sight,
As my heart beats faster when you meet the light
From the room’s window where I write
My heart elevates on every flight
Up there it goes beyond my height
But there you go,
You skipped my place
Moving your way towards a girl in lace
My heart fell as you embrace
“Where did I go wrong?” I asked the empty space
Still,
I love you on a Friday’s lonely night case

I love you on a Saturday
When I gracefully tell myself not to talk to you again
When I constantly remind myself I am not your gem
You messaged me then
Saying you had a great weekend
And I love you so much it hurts
The pain gets worse
As I grip tightly at the hem of my shirt
“I’m happy for you”, I silently blurt
Please don’t drift away
Please don’t be another soon-to-end holiday
Not another visitor on a railway
I love you so much on a Saturday

I love you on a Sunday
As you take her hand and introduce her
As my heart beats slow down and blur
When her eyes are what you prefer
And I am nothing as I infer
Only, I know better
That loving you wasn’t guaranteed to be an open airway
Nor was it just an easy hundred-word essay
It was meeting you halfway
It was shards of glass on the highway
It was sacrificing you away
It was already seeing dismay
Yet going for it anyways
I love you not only on the weekdays
Nor do I love you only on Saturdays and Sundays
For I love you and when I do,
I love you every day.

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Friendships → Harry and Luna

They looked at each other. Luna was smiling slightly. Harry did not know what to say, or to think. Luna believed so many extraordinary things … yet he had been sure he had heard voices behind the veil too …

Are you sure you don’t want me to help you look for your stuff?” he said. 

Oh no,” said Luna. “No, I think I’ll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up … It always does in the end. Well, have a nice holiday, Harry.” 

Yeah … yeah, you too.” 

She walked away from him and, as he watched her go, he found that the terrible weight in his stomach seemed to have lessened slightly. 

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Sherlock fandom productivity on AO3 since series 4

With the flurry around the surprises in the new series, some of us longtime Sherlock fans might have the impression that everything is going up in flames. The tides of tumblr are hard to read, but a clearer view might be offered by looking at what the fandom is doing on AO3, our favourite archive. 

Above is a plot reporting the number of new and returning creators posting Sherlock works per month, since 2011. This and more plots below the cut show that Series 4 really energized the fandom, in particular fanwork creators that have been around for a few years. 

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Azurrin week 2016 Day 7: Story

Bonus:

(she does it on purpose…)

Do Something Bad, Too - Part 4

Pairing: Alpha!Bucky x Omega!Reader

Summary: It’s like every single Alpha on the planet won’t rest until they’ve confessed their eternal wish for you to mother their children, and it’s getting old. Luckily, that’s a problem Bucky might be able to fix.

Warnings: language, a/b/o dynamics, nsfw content (aka orgasms)

A/N: its finally here! sorry for taking like 30000 years but i got there in the end! happy new year, happy holidays, i hope everyone is well and i hope you enjoy this part!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

When you were in the army, you decided that you would never, ever chose an Alpha as a mate. You were surrounded by the worst kind day in day out - and, sure, when you moved companies nobody knew you were an omega thanks to the suppressants, but that just meant they felt like they could say all their shitty opinions about omegas in front of you as if you wouldn’t be offended.

In your opinion, 99% of Alphas were pigs and had zero respect for you no matter how successful you were, or how many suppressants you took. The past few weeks, however, have made you seriously reconsider that percentile.

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