On the first night of…

On the eighth crazy night, when the Menorah was ablaze with the miracle of Hanukkah… Oy, we should only make it to the eighth night! Nu, at least they make good birthday candles too.

On the first night of Hanukkah, my kinder, they said to me, “When will we go get our Christmas tree?”

On the second night of Hanukkah, the maideleh’s, they asked for Santa, so I asked my Mrs.,  “Please! Pass me more Mylanta?”

On the third night of Hanukkah, this came from the mouth of my Little, “What’s with those latkes burning on the griddle?”

On the fourth night of Hanukkah, Big, she said outright, “This is what happens for eight crazy nights?

By the fifth night of Hanukkah, the menorah was buried on the shelf. Mensch on the Bench has nothing over that meshuggeneh elf!

By the sixth night of Hanukkah, we did homework and gai schluffin; the mention of dreidel sent the kinder a-runnin’

By the seventh night of Hanukkah, our Christmas stockings were all lined up. Hanukkah, jeez… why am I dreying my kup?

By the eighth night of Hanukkah, clearly not going as planned. Us Jews, we must schmooze and do a total re-brand.

So for all who may attempt the menorah with delight, have fun, nosh on latkes, and to all a good night.

Yiddish proverb:

If grandma had a beard, she would be grandpa. Oyb di bobe volt gehat a bord, volt zi geven a zeyde.

That’s Hanukkah in a Christmas world. All is good.

A bei gezunt! In good health!

Some great folks I like to share with…

How on earth will we talk about this?

As I was adding the final touches for this post, these two were listening and watching, “We Are The World” on YouTube, circa 1985. How fitting…

Yiddish Proverb:

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.

Yiddish Proverb:

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 a shondah (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?

L’Chiam! To life!

Global sigh of relief!

Little meditating…

Today, I am relieved, ecstatic, joyful, delighted, and kvelling to learn that all 12 boys and their soccer coach are rescued, safe and sound. The collective global sigh of relief is holding me up and getting me through the rough parts of our world. There really are heroes in the world. We need to celebrate them!

 

Big was dancing…
And oh, how they played…
Oh, how they play…

Hold your kinderlach (children) closer today, and every day.

 

Yiddish Proverb:

Troubles overcome are good to tell. Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu derseylin.

 

I AM WOMAN, the musical resurfaces

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 happened looking 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.

I’ve got my walking shoes on… so hear me ROAR!

#metoo #blacklivesmatter #neveragain #muslimregistry #strongwomen #weshowedup #resistmrt

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.
      
       
    

RIP, Edie Windsor. You are my Hero

*video courtesy of You Tube and Huff Post Live

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-sex partner 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 this hateful 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!

     

      

      

      

 

Waking Up is Hard, With You

I don’t know about you, but this US-based Yiddishah momma isn’t sleeping so hot. The chaos of the world, the tweeter-in-chief, the backward direction of history, and the fears of a horrid times repeating all leave me with angst, anxiety and some pretty hefty carry-on baggage under the eyes these days. Nightmares, daymares, heart palpitations… oy vey iz mir.

a parody on Neil Sedaka’s lyrics, “Breaking up is Hard to Do”

we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
Don’t take my rights away from me
You’re breaking laws and changing history
Jamming justice, we know it’s true
Waking up is hard, with you
Looking back, phone alerts were much less scary
With just one tweet, you spooked the military
It’s Mueller time, the grand review
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we’re all screwed
Imploding health care and refugee bans
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
I beg of you, stop the racist crap
Vlad, just share with us the wire tap
Global warming, it’s making me blue
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we are screwed
‘Murica should not be run by a business man
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
I don’t understand what is happening in our world. Ikh ton nit farshteyn voz iz gesheenish in aundzer velt.
Okay, if you would like to hear the real version of this ‘borscht belt’ singer and writer, click below, courtesy of our friends at YouTube:

      

     

      

Blog, Shmog: Today an Interview

People, thank you for joining us today for this very special interview. After the very disappointing US withdrawal from the Paris Accord, I asked both Mother Earth and mr t to join me, over a nice babka (delicious cake) and coffee, to answer just a few questions. I hope you all find this informative and provides you all with the strength you need to take action.

Q: Do you believe in climate change?

A: Mother Earth Are you kidding me? I am one hot momma, schvitzing (sweating my ass off) like the ‘mother of all menopausal hot flashes.’ Mara Lago, you will be the first to enter the drink as my own sweat forces your little southern white house under the Atlantic. And remember mr t, hurricane season, she just started! Nu? I’m just sayin’. Can you please pass me a glass of water. Vey iz mir (Woe is me), I am parched.

A: mr t I would just like to say, America first. That’s all. That’s why you hired me. And I did win. Did you see those crowds at the inauguration? Biggest crowds to date. Very big crowds. I won.

Q: Why on fucking earth would you pull out from an accord (not legally binding) designed to voluntarily make the world a better, stronger, safer and healthier planet for all in the future?

A: Mother Earth It’s obvious this horrible excuse for a man is a shlemiel (someone who is useless, clueless, inept). 

A: mr t Global warming, climate change, whatever you people call it is all a Chinese-inspired hoax, you know, by the Chinese. Not Americans. America first. I won.

Q: How does it feel to be condemned by world leaders near and far?

A: Mother Earth Smart, he isn’t. My wish for him is that may all his teeth should fall out, except for one. And in that one tooth, he should have a toothache! And may that toothache be a preexisting condition. That should be his tsuris (troubles). 

A: mr t They are all just jealous of my business skills and good looks. I know a bad deal and this was a bad deal. Very bad deal. And, since I won, I can do whatever I want to. And I will erase everything that Obama did. Because I’m a racist, and my life and my deep pockets matter most. And I am the best looking of all the world leaders. Best looking by far. And I won.

Q: How can you explain all of the horrible, tragic storms, massive floods, and hottest temperatures on record? 

A: Mother Earth — Du kanst nicht oif meinem fus pishen und mir sagen klass es regen ist. Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining. Even your first lady-daughter, Ivanka, her nogudnik, gonif (a man of shady character) of a husband, President Jared, and oil maven, Tex-Rex Tillerson wanted you to stay in the deal. I bet they watched from inside, in the air-conditioning, since they were absent at the Rose Garden. 

A: mr t — Everyone knows I am right. This is a big, very big hoax. All of you countries, all 187 of you, got together, just to make the US, which I love so much, economically feeble. Do you see how many syllables are in the word economically? The leaders of the world, they will all come begging to sit at my table and talk to me about a new deal. The art of the deal. It will be the American Accord. We are the best, and I won. Coal is clean. Coal is good. Oil is clean. Oil is good. I speak for Pittsburgh. Boo Paris. I won. The Pittsburgh Accord. 

Q: Is there anything either of you would like to add to the conversation today?

A: Mother Earth — Climate change is not a bubbe-meiseh (old wives tale). It is real and the outcome can be catastrophic. Just remember, no one is as deaf as the one who will not listen. And, let me add, just because you can talk, it doesn’t mean you’re making sense. How many ‘once in a lifetime’ storms will plague our earth before you see what we are doing? 

A: mr t — The deal is not fair. I won. And, I would just like to say, America first. That’s all. That’s why you hired me. And I did win. Did you see those crowds at the inauguration? Biggest crowds to date. Very big crowds. I won.

Well. That was… yes, it was. Thank you, Mother Earth, and mr t for coming today. I must go now and march in a rally for ending gun violence. Never before have I had so many opportunities to show up and support so many causes. Oy vey… (OMG)

Zei gezunt. Be healthy, be well. 

Please.