What will become of the sheep if the wolf is the judge? Vos vet vern fun di sheps aoyb di volf iz di rikhter?
My kinder (children), they truly feel the anxiety in our home. They soak it in as they happily leap from the yellow school bus and cross the entryway into our home. They see it when I return from work each night. I am literally wearing the news on my punim (face) – and it is not a good look.
Big and Little, they know about deadly gun violence because they see me put on my orange cloak of activism and fight for gun sense laws (no guns makes the most sense to me) with Moms Demand Action. They hear my spiel (talk, like “please, don’t hang up… on… me!) pleading with complete strangers about conceal carry reciprocity and bump stocks, week after week.
But now, tragedy, it strikes daily. How can their naive and tender, trusting souls take in all of the madness when I have trouble simply not crying at the office or pumping the car with gas? Smart people who study such things, scholars, they say we need to tell our kinder in real-time, as the bad things occur. They say that when they hear hard/tragic news from us, the people they love and trust most, they can best take in the inconceivable and somehow still feel safe.
Feeling safe. Aside from my day job, isn’t that what I am here to do? How can I promise protection for my maideleh’s (sweet girls) in a world that can kill you while learning, praying, playing, watching a movie, doing yoga? I have read that we only tell them what is absolutely true. Live in the moment. “You, my sweet bubbelah’s (babies), are safe here, now.” No promises that you cannot absolutely keep. Truth.
Who owes her the hole in the bagel? Ver ouz ir di lokh in di bagel?
My father, he used to explain things to me and then say, “Capiche? (Understand?) I did (well mostly), but he wasn’t hurling around huge concepts like anti-Semitism, racism, nationalism, white-supremacy. At eight and ten, hatred, violence, and grief are ‘tough to swallow’ dinner table topics. Allow them time to think, ask questions. As many questions as they need to ask. Always answer with honesty and reassure them of the many people around them, in addition to us, who are also safe havens for them.
This past weekend, we even developed a ‘code word’ for our family after reading the news story about a little girl in Arizona who thwarted her would be captor in a potential kidnapping with, “What’s the code word? If you are picking me up, what’s the code word?” Be prepared.
And this, all of this is what I call ashondah (a shame, pity).
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, people all over America will be getting together to celebrate, sup, break bread and nosh together. Many families have been as divided as those gonefs (thieves, dishonest people)on the hill in DC. Many topics are now more taboo than ever before. Politics and sports are out. Perhaps sex is a safe, go-to conversation? Wishing you all, a safe, loving and enjoyable time. And, may we all find a way to unite. Capiche?
Hob ich a zorg! Zoll ich zorgen! Why should I worry! I should worry.
I want to thank so many of you who have reached out to me to see if I am okay. I am one lucky Yiddisheh momma, feeling such love and support around this globe! And, please know, I am okay. I am as okay as one can be, as a woman, a lesbian, and a Jew in these ‘guns blazing’ United States. I am out of my mind with worry over the upcoming mid-term elections, and I have a very important 4-letter word I would like to share with everyone. VOTE.
Vote like your life depended on it because it does. Vote for the kinder (children)who will inherit this madness we leave behind. Vote because your voice, it needs to be heard. Vote in solidarity against the racism, rhetoric, lies, hate, bias, and bigotry. Vote for those whose lives were stolen in Pittsburgh, in Jeffersontown, in too many towns to list.
That’s all I got right now. Nu, voos zugt eir gits? What the good word?
Tonight is the eve of the 1 year weirdest year in my lifetime anniversary of the Women’s March, where pink pussy hats bopped atop millions way more than those who attended the inauguration of marching women (men and children too), across the US and in countries around the globe. We gathered in protest of violence and sexual harassment, for reproductive rights, gender equality, and quite frankly, against our new president (little p) and his band of bad men. We were and continue to be, a viable, visible force of peaceful people saying wtf just happenedlooking for answers and questioning truths. One dizzying, nauseating year later, what’s changed? We went from strong women proudly marching to women governing and legislating. We ran for office and we are winning! This weekend, get your walking shoes on. “Cause we still have some work to do my friends.
Nu? This mr t, he has me farklempt (all choked up) with his evil and hatred. Not too long ago, I wrote a post, I AM WOMAN HEAR MY VOICE. Well, I’ve taken it to the stage folks. Please, bear with my (awful)voice as I stumble through my own, personal feminist anthem.
Please feel free to sing along. If only to cover up my voice!Vey iz mir…I’m meshuggeneh (crazy), but I am so motivated to peacefully make a change. (I said peacefully, not notefully!) Because Never Again, is now folks.
Great big hugs and love to Mackenzie for her gorgeous participation and support! And Kristin, where would I be without the bug you put in my ear? And to all of you brave, men, women and children who showed up, and continue to show up in protest. That’s what I’m sayin.’
Why’d I do it? Well, I am trying hard to teach my kinder (little kids) to be brave, not perfect.
Hey, mr t, I Am Woman, and you, little man, are going to have to deal with that! Tell me, did you march? If so, where? And most important, everyone VOTE.
December 14, 2017, will mark the 5-year anniversary of one of the most solemn and horrific moments in our unrelenting lack of #GunSense in America. The school shooting at Sandy Hook. To honor those students and teachers, and everyone else we have lost to gun violence, I am reblogging this post.
Those boys and girls of Sandy Hook were in first grade, just like my Little. Please, take a moment, a very uncomfortable moment and think about all of the lives we lose senselessly due to our loose, lax and well-lobbied for laws around out of control gun purchasing in this country. Please also watch this 1 minute video, from the folks at #TheSandyHookPromise. You really need to. After, please share. C’mon moms! We need you.
Thank you. May we be strong enough to make the changes we need to here in America.
Early Saturday morning, I woke up after having climate change nightmares. These were not just hot flashes — I had real nightmares about the life of our planet. Think the Lorax, on crack. I wrote a post,Blog, Shmog: An Interview Today, poking some acerbic wit at mr t, orange-in-chief, and then I left to head over to the Wear Orange March. This march was not about global warming. It was the about senseless gun violence in our country. Yet another topic t won’t touch. After all, the NRA, they own him.
Hadiya Pendleton, 15 years old, was shot in the back. Gunned down while standing inside Harsh Park with her friends in Chicago in 2013. Just one week earlier, she performed live with her school band at President Obama’s (second) inauguration. Her murder occurred less than one mile from the Obama’s Chicago home. Hadiya, an honors student, volleyball player, band member, daughter — her future was bright in so many ways. The cause of death: shot by mistaken gang rivalry. The shooters, gang members, they told police that she was standing with people they thought were from a rival gang. It was a mistake. Michelle Obama attended her funeral. By that January day in Chicago, she was already the 42nd murder by firearm. A real shonda(shame) for her, her family, our world.
The gates of tears are never shut. Di toi’ern fun treren zeinen kain mol nit farshlossen.
Saturday morning was cool, raining. Hadiya would have been 20 years young on June 2 of this year. Her birthday now represents National Gun Violence Awareness Day across our country. Her brightness is now the color orange, the same color worn by hunters, so as to be seen and not shot. It is the color of gun violence prevention. Less than 100 of us gathered. Many moms held laminated photos of the children they lost to gun violence. We all talked. I told them I was there for Hadiya, and for the Sandy Hook Promise. When we failed all of those children and their teachers who gave their lives protecting them, I knew I had to do more. I couldn’t just sign a petition and call Senator Twomey’s office again. I had to enlist in the fight.
In the US, gun violence kills 93 people every single day — almost 34,000 lives per year. That includes murder, suicide, and accidental death. In Philadelphia, last year our number was 278. Almost 1 life per day. These numbers are stunning, but they must not leave us hardened. We must work harder than we ever have before.
Our kinder (sweet children) deserve better. Hadiya dreamt of going to Northwestern University. She wanted to become a pharmacist, a journalist, or a lawyer. She was a good kid. Hadiya, she deserved better.
Guns are a very large problem in this country. I do not think that our founding fathers had gang members, mental illness, violent domestic abuse, accidental death and suicide in mind when they created the second amendment. I believe there is some good legislation out there (SB 501 for stronger gun control rights) that needs enforcing, and I believe there are some horrible laws on the books (SB 383 that arms school staff, teachers, and boards). Vey iz mir (OMG), we need to make some drastic changes.
Last I checked, we were ONE human race. How can we all begin to walk with empathy and love in our hearts? When will we begin to embrace all of our very unique and beautiful differences, instead of fearing them? I will do that for Hadiya. I will do that for all of those families from Sandy Hook. I will do that for everyone affected by senseless gun violence. We need to do that for all the kinder (children). Please join me.
Death doesn’t knock on the door (and warn you of it’s impending arrival). Toyt tut nit klapn aoyf di tir.
Today’s post has been literally hijacked by yet another deadly mass shooting, here in the good ole U.S. of A. I was going to write a lovely piece about our trip to LEGO Land with my kinder (children), and fill you in on how Nutcracker practice is going — but that will come at another time. I am seething and crying all at once — and I refuse to go numb. We need action. Notorious RBG would demand it, and so would Edie Windsor!
Congress, you are inept I am beyond mad and I have had enough. The chain of green is a stranglehold that must end. Held by the very prosperous purse strings of the National Rifle Association (NRA), you now have lined your pockets, profits, and proceeds with payola: and it is nothing less than blood money. Your ‘trump card’ use of the Constitution and our ‘right to bear arms’ has shifted quite precariously from guns for a trained and able military to guns for killing the sport, crime, suicide, and the obstruction of passing laws to protect us, the people, from fair and just gun legislation.
THIS MUST STOP
Guess what? Prayers, thoughts, and joining of hands in unity don’t do jack-sh*t do not work. The deadly mass shooting in at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst deadly gun massacre since the last one, in Las Vegas, just a few short weeks ago. In fact, take a look at what is now becoming the shameful and violent legacy of American gun culture:
Sutherland Springs, Texas: 26 killed November 2017
Las Vegas Nevada: 59 killed October 2017
San Francisco, California: 3 killed June 2017
Orlando, Florida: 5 killed June 2017
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: 5 killed January 2017
Burlington, Washington: 5 killed September 2016
Orlando, Florida: 49 killed June 2016
San Bernardino, California: 14 killed December 2015
Colorado Springs, Colorado: 3 killed November 2015
Roseburg, Oregon: 9 killed October 2015
Chattanooga, Tennessee: 5 killed July 2015
Charleston, South Carolina: 9 killed June 2015
Isla Vista, California: 6 killed May 2014
Ft. Hood, Texas: 3 killed April 2014
Washington, DC: 12 killed September 2013
Santa Monica, California: 5 Killed June 2013
Newtown, Connecticut: 27 killed December 2012
Brookfield, Wisconsin: 3 killed October 2012
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 6 killed September 2012
Oak Creek, Wisconsin: 6 killed August 2012
Aurora, Colorado: 12 killed July 2012
Oakland, California: 7 killed April 2012
Seal Beach, California: 8 killed October 2011
Tucson, Arizona: 6 killed January 2011
Manchester, Connecticut: 8 killed August 2010
Huntsville, Alabama: 3 killed February 2010
Ft. Hood, Texas: 13 killed November 2009
Binghamton, NY: 13 killed April 2009
Dekalb, Illinois: 5 killed February 2008
Omaha, Nebraska: December 2007
Blacksburg, Virginia: 32 killed April 2007
Salt Lake City, Utah: 5 killed February 2007
Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania: 5 killed October 2006
Goleta, California: 6 killed January 2006
Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota: 9 killed March 2005
Wakefield, Massachusetts: 7 killed December 2000
Honolulu, Hawaii: 7 killed November 1999
Fort Worth, Texas: 7 killed September 1999
Atlanta, GA: 9 killed July 1999
Columbine, Colorado: 13 killed April 1999
Did you know that after every one of this horrible massacres, gun sales go up?
It is most definitely a GUN ISSUE
mr t said, “a very deranged individual” hello pot, meet kettle did this. He went on to say, this shooting “is not a guns situation” and that “it is a little too soon” to be talking about gun violence. TOO SOON!
Another lone, white gunman took his own life after killing and injuring droves of innocent people. He walked into a church, dressed in black and armed with a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic assault rifle. He sprayed the crowd as they prayed, with bullets. His background included violence and domestic abuse, a dishonorable military discharge. He should have never had that gun in his hands.
We need to expand background checks for every gun purchase. We need to talk about mental health while stripping us all from the Affordable Care Act and we need to put away the party rhetoric and start saving innocent lives. We must condemn the violence that happens all too often. Oh, and btw, two-thirds of all the gun deaths in the US are suicide. Yes, suicide.
We must remind Congress, that they work for us.
Congress, We the people, we need you. We need to stop the NRA, who is currently spending ridiculous sums of money, lobbying, on a new bill to make mass shootings even easier. You see, the NRA, they are worried about our hearing. WHATTHEFCK There is a new legislative plan they are forcing down our throats, and it is called, get this, the SHARE ACT (Sportsman Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, H.R. 3668) Bundled in this bollux of bullsht is the Hearing Protection Act. What’s that? I can’t hear you. I just came from the shooting range. To protect your ears from the sound of bullets killing, felons, domestic abusers, criminals, gangs, and anyone else, can get silencers. Imagine Las Vegas, Sutherland County, or any of these acts of horror if, in addition to magazines and semi-, or automatic rifles, they had no sound. None.
Please, do what you can to turn this awful tide of violence and terror and move it in the other direction. Today, go out and VOTE. Here are two trusted organizations that are trying to help, and I have joined.
Last week, the world lost an awe-inspiring hero for supporters of LGBTQ civil rights. Tiny, tough, lusty and outrageously fierce, Edie Windsor was the main plaintiff in the case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor.
You see, Edie and her same-sexpartner Thea were together as a couple for 40 years. After an absurdly long and loving engagement In 2007, they loudly and proudly said, “I do,” in Toronto, a place where gay marriage was both safe and legal. Thea died two years later, in 2009, leaving her entire estate to her spouse, Edie, in the form of a revocable trust. But you see DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), and the people who built thishateful excuse of a law specifically defined ‘marriage’ as deliberately excluding same-sex couples. They couldn’t see ‘us.’ They went so far as to say that the term ‘spouse’ only refers to that of a ‘man and a woman.’
Edie filed taxes after the death of her lifelong love, and justly claimed the federal estate tax that allows exemptions for surviving spouses. The IRS not only barred the exemption, they forced her to pay $363,053 in taxes. Quiet and demure never described Edie. She boldly set off on the battle of a lifetime. All of us in the LGBTQ community, we were with her every step of the way. After forking over all of Thea’s loot to the government, she filed a federal lawsuit for a full refund of the nearly $400k, stating DOMA was unconstitutional, unfair and singled out legally married, same-sex couples.
Windsor fought to overturn DOMA where non-sensical legal language stripped equality from life as she and many others of us knew it. Oral arguments were heard in March of 2013. On June 26th of that same year, ‘the Supremes’ sang out in favor of love. This court, in a 5-4 decision (thank you, Justice Kennedy!Please never, ever retire), affirmed that DOMA was unconstitutional “as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
In my household, as in gazillions of same-sex households across the US, it was the feeling of sheer, unfettered joy. Phones rang, hearts throbbed, hugs, kisses, and high-fives could be heard in most major metropolitan areas where we believed we would be safer far and wide, and we were all alive with the promise of equality happening right before our very eyes.
Book the hall, call the caterer, hot-damn, we were going to be legal. In this lifetime. In our lifetime.
Once, when my Big, she was about two, maybe three years old and she asked us to see our wedding pictures. We told her we weren’t married. She asked why, and we looked at each other and said, the law, it doesn’t allow us to marry. She started to cry. We told her that despite the law, love wins.
Edie will be remembered as a powerful trailblazer in the long history of the gay rights movement. A queen in the Yiddish fight club! I am forever grateful for her, and all the others before her who went out on a limb and stood up for what is right. The positive outcome of her battle against the establishment has led to many happy and loving nuptials with similar ridiculously long engagements. (Ours was a mere 17 years… and we married legally in 2013)
Edie, you will be missed. Thank you for giving me and my mishpocheh (family)the gift of equality and acceptance in a time where we are tested, challenged, and opposed daily. Your giant heart gave out on you at 88, but we can still feel your pulse of hope. You will live on in our hearts each and every day. We carry your torch proudly and hope to keep moving our case for equality, justice, and authenticity forward.
My deepest sympathies to your surviving wife and family that are left behind. You left a tacca(big) set of shoes to fill, and you have proven that love does win. ❤
To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hobn kostn kayn gelt nisht.
My Mrs., Big, Little, I love you! Ich hob dier lieb!