Statement from the Families of Rudy Rochman, Andrew (Noam) Liebman, and Edouard David Benaym

This is so jolting for me and the community at large. I pray they are safely released soon.

“We Were Never Lost” is NOT a political documentary. Nigeria needs to cut them loose, and the respective countries representing these three men need to work harder to free them from any kind of investigation. Maybe now, people will understand how unsafe it is for Jews to simply exist and be free; it is because of hate and suspicion, and potential ugly intent, that we are not 100% safe in this world. The every day, average person would not have been detained.

I encourage Nigeria’s DSS to release them immediately.

Taking A Precaution

Due to a dozen or so death threats (Unfortunately, I have to involve law enforcement. It is not something I want to do, but I know the laws. Local and state LEOs have to be notified.), I have chosen to password protect and/or disable access to certain things on the site. If you have trouble viewing anything, please contact me directly, or comment on any post, should you require more information. I know my core readers, and I don’t feel any of you will take offense to this, or think I am being silly in this matter.

I chose do this, not for my own safety, but to protect my family and friends as much as possible. I would prefer to be the sole target, but once you threaten harm against others, I will not sit back and take it. Bullying doesn’t bother me, because it’s such an act of cowardliness, and I don’t take it seriously, but I also want a website which is free of such things.

This decision is temporary, until I am told the threat is no longer serious/a valid risk.

Make no mistake; I am NOT going to be silenced, disrespected, or allow people to behave like the keyboard terrorists they are. You can agree to disagree with me, hell, you can believe whatever you want, but you don’t get to threaten innocent people. Not on my watch, and not in my life. I will not stand for it.

While writing this, I received a message from someone in Pakistan (In my spam Messenger folder) filled with photos of the Holocaust, and a threat that he will continue to violate the terms and conditions on Facebook, and how the Holocaust was the greatest drama to unfold. He has been reported for harassment and making terroristic threats. I’ve said nothing on Facebook to warrant this. My friends list is carefully curated and I try never to engage with psychopaths.

Sadly, this didn’t phase me, but again, I will not be harassed or threatened. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who behaves in such a manner should face serious consequences.

Stay safe, everyone. Blessed be.

P.S. This statement is not being added to my Twitter feed. I don’t need to feed deranged trolls who hide behind private accounts. They are sick and need serious help.

Rosh Hashanah 5781

It’s #RoshHashanah🍎🍏🍯 and we are heading into the year 5781. If you’d like additional information regarding this High Holiday, or #Judaism🔯, I will cheerfully send you a list of must-reads. 📚

🍝 This year, I’m passing some of my centuries old recipes down to a friend who is a bigger #Foodie than even me. I’m also making her swear on a stack of Bibles not to give away recipe secrets until I’m dead.

🍛 If you’re looking for something different to check out online, please visit @thepeckishthinker and allow well-written words and beautiful food photos to entertain and inspire you. I’ll be over here, on the corner of #PoisonInLethalDoses and #HowUncensoredCanYouGet. You can also go directly to PeckishThinker.com

L’Shana Tovah
I planted two at the end of August and look forward to adding 4-6 more to different regions next year. We do this to honor loved ones, to memorialize them, to celebrate, etc. Many were planted in my Grandfather’s name after he passed away, so I always associate this gesture with positive energy. The tree will outlive us all.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

 

I take this moment to remember all of the people who were murdered during the Holocaust, including members of my family, where only a handful survived.

The Holocaust was not “just Jews”, but Gypsies, the disabled, the elderly, LGBTQ, and anyone who dared to speak up against the “process” of Hitler’s twisted ideas, including, but not limited to, their own people, as well. Ideas he shared with millions, including Muslims who agreed that Jews needed to be “eliminated”. This mindset is still living in 2020. Be careful what you believe about people when you aren’t certain where the hatred ever stemmed from.

Please know that people weren’t simply murdered. Millions were tortured, beaten, starved, shot, experimented on before they were killed, and the list of atrocities goes on and on. Women, children, men; the Nazi regime did not discriminate and they did not act alone.

We are experiencing dark times globally with a pandemic, but I’m going to remember to be grateful. For as imperfect and as broken as I am, as this world is, it is still repairable. We can still make the choice to do better, to be smarter, to be healthier, to be stronger, and to unite, instead of allowing hatred to divide us.

We may not all share the same views, but we can choose to be respectful of each other. May G-d keep you all safe, sound, and healthy. May the plague of Coronavirus steer clear of us all, for no one deserves to die alone.

Honor The Fallen. I always will.

lisa

Letting It Pass

People make an awful lot of assumptions when you keep the majority of your thoughts private. They desperately try to read your body language and facial expressions, but they don’t know what any of them mean, so again, they make assumptions. I’m not the kind of person anyone should be making assumptions about.

I have a very close-knit group of friends who I’d do anything for. I have a handful of family members I value, and sometimes even that is iffy. Beyond that, I keep things extremely quiet. It doesn’t mean I don’t think, feel, or love. It just means I keep things contained. My brother calls it “extreme cop face”. He will often joke that I’m working for the CIA because I keep my private life SO private, it’s basically a mystery. Growing up the way I did, I felt like I had to. It was a way of protecting myself. We all have coping mechanisms that, on occasion, follow us through life. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong or that you need to change, it’s simply how you keep yourself in check.

This is the second year in a row where I was invited to Passover functions. My entire life before this, I either spent the holiday with my parents and Grandmother, or I didn’t celebrate at all. I was sick in bed last year, so I did not attend anything. I’m not that far from it now, I’m in horrific agony, but this year I just flat-out said no. No to someone else’s friends, where I can’t go through the interrogation I know is coming, and no to my cousins, because I’m not schlepping thirty minutes away two nights in a row for something that isn’t all that important to me. Sad, but true. I love my cousin and I’d kill for him, but not enough to sit through something that is basically traumatic for me.

Because I said no, assumptions were made and accusations flew. I was accused of being “socially phobic”. Not true. I am not AFRAID of people. If I were, I’d never leave the fucking house or speak to anyone! I dislike people. I dislike inane conversation, things that do not matter to me, conversation I have no business taking part in, bullshit, falseness, disloyalty, petty, catty crap, and knowing in advance that I don’t belong. What smart person puts themselves into situations where they already know they do NOT belong?! I don’t. I have better things to do with my time. It’s valuable.

I am not one of those people that believes that good exists in everyone. I’m smarter than that. That’s like saying prisons aren’t full of murderers and rapists. Yeah, I bet they all have hearts of gold, too (Yes, I do enjoy my sarcasm.). If people want to meet me, they should be able to do so on comfortable terms. A holiday is not one of them. That’s my feeling on the subject. Besides, I lack the ability to pretend I’m enjoying myself when I am in pain, annoyed, or intolerant of those around me. I like so few people, it’s not even funny, but I am by no means phobic of others. I’ve made more new friends in the past year than I’ve made in the last ten. If I was indeed “socially phobic”, those friendships would never have made it as far as they have. Those I am now super-close with never would have gotten as close as they have, either. So let’s call it what it actually is: Socially selective. I’ve always been this way. I’ve always picked and chosen my friends because I am the type of person that doesn’t have to accept the crumbs of life. My mother always told me “Choose your friends wisely.” She was right. I’ve been burned by friends I did not choose, so there you go. I am socially selective. It’s not a fucking crime against humanity.

I don’t feel the need to attend every single thing I am invited to. Let’s face it; there aren’t a lot of things to begin with and sometimes, when I’m not sick, I just want peace and quiet to focus on the work I’m doing.

I have a religious function coming up in late June/early July that I will indeed attend, but I’ve known about it for months and that’s different than last-minute mentions. I have time between now and then to put an outfit together, and even if I feel like shit, drag myself because I promised my cousin I’d be there. It’s a special moment for him, and since I’m the only family he has here, I’ll go because he asked and because he told me how he felt about me living so close.

I have a friend coming to visit this summer, as well. We’re trying to plan a day or two where we can just hang out and have fun. I’d NEVER agree to being out in the sun during the summer for just anyone, so she was thrilled when I suggested we make solid plans. For me to know in advance that I have something to look forward to is really nice. But these are things with my peers. If I’m going out, I want to have fun. I don’t want to be pissed off, miserable, depressed, unhappy, in pain, or have my plans made for me by someone else. Life is short and I want to enjoy the time I spend and who I spend it with. I want to be able to be myself, knowing I’m not being judged. I want to be around people who appreciate and respect that I am imperfect, goofy, inappropriately hilarious, sarcastic, witty, smart, and that I don’t take crap from anyone. There’s a softer side to me, too, but very few people get to see her and that’s exactly how it should be. I believe in reserving pieces of myself for myself.

I can’t recall the last time someone asked me what I wanted to do instead of telling me what was being done and asking if I wanted to tag along. There’s a difference between the two, and for me, it’s an immense difference. If someone wants to spend time with me, it can’t be all about them. That’s not right, nor is it fair. If “going out” is going to leave me stressed, angry, in pain, or worse, all three, then I’m not going to engage. I’d gain more by staying home and learning something as opposed to making myself sick.

This year, I just need the holiday to pass. I am trying to focus on my health. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled and I want to go into it with a list of issues to cover. I want to hit as many points as humanly possible because no one should have to suffer like this. I always tell other people to make lists before they go to the doctor, and I find myself doing that now, too. I know it will result in x-rays, lab work, MRIs, and a referral to a neurologist, but that’s better than nothing. I’d rather look forward to all of that as opposed to continuing to suffer. I can handle starting fresh, but I can’t handle the pain for another second. I shouldn’t be struggling to walk or feeling like someone has put rods in my spine. I am tired of feeling like I’ve been beaten or run over by a truck. I’m tired of looking at my back and seeing nothing but bruises. Hell, I’m tired of finding bruises on my body, period.

Not celebrating a crucial holiday has nothing to do with my faith. G-d knows who and what I am. I am imperfect. I pray. I hold doors for people. I let people ahead of me on line in stores. I give to charity and help people whenever I am able. I call people and check in to make sure they’re okay. I write letters, e-mails, and send cards. I try never to forget a birthday or an important moment in someone’s life. Celebrating a holiday doesn’t make you a good or bad person. Being emotionally present for people is more important to me. Not being cruel and hurtful is more important to me. Being able to look at myself in the mirror and know I do more right than wrong is more important to me.

I’ve said it before, but life is indeed short. I don’t get to spend a lot of it happy. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I was happy or what it felt like, but at the beginning and end of each day, at least I’m real. These things don’t have to be important to everyone, but they do have to be important to me.

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover and/or a lovely week ahead.

lisa-flames
copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The First Night Of Chanukah

chanukah1

If one more person wishes me a “Merry Christmas”, I will hurt them. It’s very simple; I’m JEWISH. I feel like I’ve been over this a million times, but today I damn near lost my temper, so I’m going to reiterate this, but for the love of G-d, don’t make me do it twice.

Yes, believe it or not, there are religions that do not celebrate the same holidays that you may celebrate. There are religions that are much older. This is basic kindergarten knowledge, yet every single person I’ve come across for over a month now has made an assumption I don’t fucking like. I’ve spent weeks holding it in. I’ve been polite, I’ve been nondescript in my “Enjoy your holiday!” greetings to others, I sent out cards with genuine, handwritten messages to express how I feel about people in a loving fashion, but at this point, I’m just plain fed up.

Tonight just so happens to be the first night of Chanukah. So, while the Jews are celebrating the miracle of oil lasting for eight nights and surviving taking back our temple centuries ago (By the way, we’re still surviving and we are a religious minority.), and we do this in very individual ways, there is literally zero discussion among us of trees, lights on our homes, Santa, Jesus, etc. To learn more, here’s some info that you might find prudent in case you consider wishing me a “Merry Christmas” ever again:  CHANUKAH 

It’s one thing if you don’t know I’m Jewish, but I make myself pretty clear. I openly discuss Jewish holidays, Israel, traditions, etc. I am also Wiccan, and I openly discuss those holidays, too. But if you go through my feed, you will see zero mention of holidays pertaining to any other faith. There’s a valid reason for that, and to ensure I don’t insult anyone, I’ll keep my feelings to myself.

I will always be respectful of those who show me respect and kindness, but damn, I am SO tired of correcting people. I know they mean well, really, but it drives me insane, so I’m putting my foot down. You can call me names (I’m sure plenty of people will.), but ultimately, respect the simple fact that I don’t celebrate Christmas. Wish me a Happy Chanukah (there are many different spellings out there, so it’s easy to confuse one with another) with the same genuineness as “Merry Christmas”. The big difference between your religion and mine is that Jews don’t believe in Jesus. There are other things we don’t believe as well, but that’s really the major one. There’s no lack of faith in G-d, we believe, just differently than you do. Also, we don’t go around trying to convert you. We’re pretty “live and let live”.

So tonight, I’d like to thank the people who honored me with cards & gifts. I genuinely appreciate the generosity and love.

Here’s hoping I never have to mention this again, because if I do, I’m re-posting an article I wrote a few years ago about what I do on Christmas Day. Frankly, I might post it tomorrow for shits and giggles.

To everyone celebrating whatever they believe in tonight; may peace and love be at the core of all you do. Blessed Be.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Friday The 13th

13

It’s Friday the 13th, a day that people either embrace or fear. A day that doesn’t usually come around too often, but this year we have had three Friday the 13th’s. We had one in February, one in March, and today is the third. It is very rare to get three Friday the 13th’s in one year. It won’t happen again until 2026.

More than 60 million people worldwide claim to be affected by a fear of Friday the 13th. Some won’t go to work, drive their cars, or get out of bed on this day. Many hospitals do not have a room 13, while airports don’t have a Gate 13, and a lot of hotels don’t have a thirteenth floor. The official word for the fear of Friday 13th is “paraskevidekatriaphobia”.

The belief that Friday the 13th is bad luck may have sprung from Norse legend when on Friday, 12 Gods were joined by a 13th God, Loki who was a cruel and brought upon humans great misfortune. Loki crashed a party at Valhalla disguised as an old hag. The Gods allowed him in and fed him, thinking he was a nomad soul passing through. Valhalla was the “banquet hall of the gods.” The Gods were enjoying a great feast where Balder, Odin’s son, was letting them throw spears at him to show his strength and courage. There were 12 guests present at the hall, they were the greatest of the Norse Gods, until Loki arrived, Loki the trickster Norse God was the 13th guest. The affair turned grim when Balder, the beloved son of Odin, the God of light, joy, and reconciliation was killed when Loki tricked Balder’s sightless brother Hod into throwing a spear of mistletoe at him, the only thing on earth that could kill Balder. By doing this, Loki brought about the promise of Ragnarök which will be doomsday when Odin will get revenge on Loki and all the Great Gods will fight their enemies including Loki. This will bring about the end of the world, ushering in a new dawn where Balder will be resurrected and rule in place of Odin.

On Friday the 13th in the year 1307, thousands of soldier monks of the powerful Knights Templar were massacred by French King Louis IV. It is said that blood ran through the streets like a river. Many people believe this is where our fear of the date stems from. The Pope of the church in Rome, in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant against the Knights Templar. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. The Grand Master Jacques DeMolay was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. This was carried out on Friday the 13th and there were 13 High Templars which ruled the Knights Templar.

In Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesdays dated the 13th, not Fridays, are considered unlucky. In Italian culture, Friday the 17th is considered unlucky.

The number 13 appears many times on the U.S. $1 bill. There are 13 stars, 13 stripes, 13 steps, 13 arrows, and even an olive branch with 13 leaves on it. Also there were thirteen colonies in British North America. There are 13 stars and stripes on the original American flag.

From a religious standpoint, Muslims tout Friday as the day Allah created Adam. Legend has it that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday and later died on a Friday. Christians consider Friday as the day on which Christ was crucified by the Romans. Also the number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of guests at the Last Supper with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas. When Christians combine this day and number the combination can only hold special significance. In Judaism, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is held at age 13 on a Friday the Jewish Sabbath day. The Bible also lists 13 attributes of God. (Editor’s Note: I’ve been to plenty of Bar Mitzvahs. None of them were on a Friday or even on the 13th of a month.)

There are 13 Witches to a Coven, which is true for many traditional Covens, but not all.

Written credit goes to Wicca Teachings. 

Edited for accuracy and cohesiveness by Lisa Marino