Three days ago, a man entered a Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire, killing three and injuring nine. This man was Robert Lewis Dear. People are calling him a shooter and a gunman. Some even call him a terrorist. In my view, he was all three. He shouted “No more baby parts!” as he shot these victims. A few months ago, Planned Parenthood was falsely accused of selling off fetal tissue for profit by way of doctored videos. These videos were made by none other than a group of pro-lifers.
With all of the gun violence happening in our world, we forget about the racism that comes with it. I’m no stranger to racism, being a Jew. We all know damn well that if Dear had been black or Middle Eastern, he’d be called a terrorist, and he’d be dead as a doornail. But he’s white, so naturally he’s alive. If a white gunman goes out in blackface and shoots up a church, the cops would kill him without a second thought. How would they react once the autopsy was done and they found out he was white? It’d be a national tragedy. It’d make the front page. He’d be called “mentally ill” and “a loner with no friends.” I once saw a video of two men who go down the same street on the same day with the same gun permit and the same weapon. One was black and one was white. Guess which one got arrested?
This violence has got to stop, or we’re screwed. If we keep on killing each other like this, humanity will become a race of murderers and terrorists. I say down with the Second Amendment! If we repeal it, we’ll piss a lot of people off. But it will also save a lot of lives. Amendment #2 isn’t even relevant anymore! Guns took a lot longer to load, reload, and clean when that accursed rule was written. That’s why they wanted guns in the first damn place!
Here’s what Judaism has to say:
“You shall not stand by [the shedding of] your fellow’s blood. [I.e., do not stand by,] watching your fellow’s death, when you are able to save him; for example, if he is drowning in the river or if a wild beast or robbers come upon him. — [Torath Kohanim 19:41; Talmud, Sanhedrin 73a]”
My cousin once tried to help me with my high school government class. When we discussed the Second Amendment, she told me the reason our society is so violent: Amendment #2.
She couldn’t have been more right. What do you think?
A few months ago before Rosh Hashana, as I was trying to do some pre-move purging, I found an old special issue of National Geographic entitled “Water: Our Thirsty World.” It wasn’t much different than any other Nat Geo I’d ever seen. It dealt with the different ways water can be used throughout the world. That was when I saw it. It was just an ordinary photograph, yet it shook me to my core. A Ukrainian Hasidic Jew, presumably Satmar, emerges from a pool of water soaked, peyes sopping wet. The caption reads: “A Hasidic Jew in Ukraine immerses himself before Rosh Hashanah in a quarry pool that serves as a mikvah, a body of water used for spiritual cleansing.” The expression on this mans face is pure awe and joy. I saw my whole life as it could be in that one measly photograph. I saw myself enjoying luscious Shabbat dinners at some prominent rabbi’s table. I saw myself on my wedding day as I encircled my groom, a slender and pale Talmud scholar, under the chuppah seven times. I saw my sons attending the best yeshivah in town and my daughters each learning how to be a bat melech. Gone are the days when my grandmother would have to bribe me with (the very much not kosher) McNuggets just to comply with any sort of religious instruction. I’m a whole different girl now.
What do YOU think about my transformation? Share your opinions in the comments below.
The title should be sufficient. I’m going to tell you about the realationship between Jews and the Boob Tube. I misspelled “relationship” for a reason: There is no such thing as reality TV. It’s one of the biggest oxymorons I’ve ever come across. Many observant Jews don’t watch television or watch very little television for a number of different reasons, the most common three being that A) It rots your brain, B) It’s the biggest waste of time I’ve ever seen, and C) TV has a lot of negative values and messages. And who in their right mind would want to be exposed to that crap?
Don’t get me wrong. I do watch television, and I’m not writing to condemn the tube, at least not completely. I love Once Upon a Time and old movies. (Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland are awesome!) I’m as big a Downton Abbey fan as the next girl. But there are endless things to do instead of watching television. Radios are fine. With radios, you’re foced to actually use your imagination to visualize what’s going on. Computers are awesome too. They can be used for pretty much anything. But they are machines to be used for getting tasks done.
Any technology can be used as a way of glorifying G-d. I watch the National Public Menorah Lighting every Chanukah and the ball go down every New Year’s. But make sure that you’re the one controlling the TV, not the other way around. Here are some links you may find interesting:
One Million Things to Do Instead of Watching Television
Is There Life Without TV?
What’ve You Got Against TV?
100 Things to Do Instead of Watching Television
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This was my first time watching the Kinus HaShluchim. Chabad has always held a special place in my heart ever since I discovered it at age 17. You can feel the positive energy without even being there.