“I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia’s being me. Over time I thought that we’d melded into one. I don’t think you could think of Leia without my lurking in that thought somewhere.” - Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist
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.
I don’t even know what to say, except that I’m heartbroken. The world is a much dimmer place without Adam West in it. He and Burgess remained close friends after Batman finished (Adam even so poignantly spoke at Burgess’ memorial service). My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family ♡
HUZZAH! It is National Library Week, bookworms and library cats!!
And that means it is the perfect time of year to show some love to your local (and not local) Libraries, both in person and online. So, just as we took time to make a special post on Follow a Library Day last year, we’ve created ANOTHER master post to honor all the libraries we know so far on tumblr so that you can #followalibrary!!
Check out their tumblrs below and show them some love, bookworms! (Alphabetical by url)
Whew! There’s a LOT of you. :) But we now this list is just getting started! Feel free to keep the library love going by adding any libraries we missed/don’t know of yet! (And if you’re not following US already, well, what better time to start than this week? ;) Eh? Eh?) And, of course, never hesitate to visit your Library in person. We love seeing you! :)
mama leia and bb-ben - Want a cookie, Benling? Yes!!!
space mothers know that growing younglings need lots of snacks on Rebellion picnics and pathfinder hikes. ben likes to jump around like a jedi in training and quickly gets really hungry and really cranky on family outings…
When Soulmates Don’t Matter (Bucky Barnes x reader)
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x reader
Word Count: 2156
Warnings: Nothing. Just all the fluff that was missing from the first part
A/N: So, this is the highly requested part 2 of When Soulmates Go Wrong and oh. My. Goodness. The response I got on that part was incredible! Thank you to everyone who was commenting on it, you seriously made my day! As usual, the Gif is not mine and feedback is welcome. Unusually, I’m going to break in here to tell you that this is probably the last thing I’ll write in a while (I’ll have a post coming out with and explanation for that on Tuesday), so hopefully I can go out with a bang. Love you guys! And without further ado, here is part 2!
The super soldier had read the letter over several times before it finally registered with him. When it did, however, nothing could stop the waterfall of silent tears that cascaded down his face as he curled in around himself.
Too late, too late, too late, ran constantly through his head, along with guilt at having unknowingly pushed her away.
For a long time, he stayed there on his bed, the letter lying just out of reach of his hand. Eventually, Bucky fell into a fitful sleep just before Steve came to the doorway, looking on sadly at his friend.
This has happened seven times today. A customer comes up with either a helium tank or a gallon of glue and a receipt and an attitude and claims that the cashier didn’t scan her coupon.
“I believe that item is exempt from coupons, ma’am. It’s part of our Everyday Value promotion. We’ve lowered the price as much as we can so that you don’t have to use a coupon to get a decent price on it. The trade-off is that we can’t use coupons on it.”
This has been going on since Christmas of this past year. We figured out which items people were abusing coupons on and we reduced the price so that we can reach a middle ground between giving people a good deal and staying in business.
Despite it being active for months, it is only now becoming a Problem.
“Bullshit,” she says. “I’ve used coupons on this before.”
“When was that?”
“Just last week.”
The helium tanks have been uncouponable since February.
“And… what was the price then?”
“The same as it is now. $45.”
“It’s… been $25 here for about three months.”
“No it hasn’t.”
“How much did we charge you?”
“$45, aren’t you listening?”
“…your receipt says $25.”
People don’t like it when you tell them that they’re wrong.
“You still won’t let me use a coupon on it.”
“You’re saving money without the coupon. Normally, it would be twice the price.”
“But you still won’t let me use a coupon on it. Even though its regular price.”
“We’ve reduced the price so that you don’t have to use a coupon on it to get a good deal.”
“But its regular price.”
“It is ineligible for coupons.”
“This was for a memorial service. For an aborted child. I hope you’re happy to be screwing over dead babies.”
I, for one, am super-pleased to disappoint the spectral forms of aborted fetuses. I can’t imagine all that helium is good for their ghosts.