Judaism is NOT “just” a religion…

I’ve had to say this to a LOT of people over the past few years. They would then argue this with me. 🙄 Yes, every single one argued it because they weren’t educated to have this knowledge. Sorry, Not Sorry; these are the #Facts. There are only a few who wanted to learn from me, and be a friend.

When I have to explain being multicultural, it makes me feel defensive at times because I am not truly accepted in my various cultural groups. There’s internal racism involved regarding what a Jewish woman looks like, what an Asian woman looks like, and what a Latina looks like. Don’t tell me I “can’t possibly be all three”. I AM. We come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Google the word, “expelled” and then Google, “diaspora”.

I’m not common, and I’m not going to apologize for being a rarity. Instead, I’m going to embrace those who embrace me. Most especially those who do so for WHO I am, and who learn from my being different.

Thanks to Hen Mazzig for putting the facts down in purple and white. 😉

Post Script: After writing this, a family member chose to attack what I had expressed with multiple racist, unfeeling, rude comments. It’s the umpeenth insult, and I’m DONE.

Always A Funeral…

If I tallied up all the funerals I have been to, it would be a percentage of over 99%. How many weddings have I been to? Three. Please don’t invite me to anything you don’t truly want me to attend.

Let me clarify that my own family has chosen to exclude me from every wedding, even my first cousins managed to exclude me. If ever I choose to get married, I can do so with less than ten people in attendance. My list currently stands at under ninety people, most of whom are friends of five years or longer; the kind you feel will happily stand up for you and those you will hopefully have for the remainder of your life. The person who stands by your side is ultimately far more important than the numbers, believe me.

Last Monday was a somber affair. I’d never attended a Catholic funeral before. I found is colder and unfeeling, but I suspect part of my newfound emotional detachment had a lot to do with how I viewed it. It’s not about religion, so much as it is about the state of a funeral while we are still actively dealing with Covid.

I know a Jewish funeral backward and forward. I can probably recite it by rote. If you have a good Rabbi, there is a very emotional, spiritual feeling in the air. Even my non-religious/spiritual friends have told me they feel like Jewish funerals are more involved/in touch. In essence, it makes sense I’d feel more connected there.

I remember my father’s funeral very clearly because I gave the eulogy. We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing Rabbi who deeply cares for our family, so even now, over a decade later, speaking to him is heartwarming. He will always leave you with a piece of wisdom, and I never forget his sparks or good deeds. He’s an innately good person. Prior to meeting him, I had never been able to connect with any man/woman of G-d. I found all of them so clinical and uncaring. He is the exception, not the rule.

Funerals are something I’m used to. I shouldn’t be, but I am. I get invited to more of them than any other thing in this world. While that is a strange thing to be invited to, I don’t feel like paying your respects is something you get invited to, or not. It’s something you do. Hopefully for the right reasons.

As the funeral was winding down, the “host” gave me a hug and told me I was a good person. I was taken aback by that statement. I wish more people said positive things through their pain, as opposed to those who shut everyone out. Yet, I did not feel the need to thank anyone who came to my father’s funeral or my mother’s. For me, showing up (if you are able) is a sign of respect. It is not your good deed.

Perhaps I am alone in these thoughts. Perhaps not. But unlike many, I try to show up and be present. I actually try harder than most. Even if it means being the only person who speaks and is fully present.

copyright ©2021 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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.