I don’t like to talk about religion. Or Rabbis for that matter. I feel uncomfortable about it all to be honest.
However, I heard that a group of 12 Rabbis in Israel just caused a worldwide ruckus by creating a blacklist of 150 Rabbis abroad. These 12 Rabbis decided to go all “Mean Girls” on the others and basically said – “You can’t sit with us.”
A real life Jewish Burn Book – destroying lives, one newspaper headline at a time – and so I was inspired to write a little rhyme.
These 12 men chose to use their voices to negatively impact hundreds of global Jewish communities, thousands of Jewish marriages, Jewish children, and a load of other humans – and I don’t understand why – besides Power, Greed, Fear, Ego.
There’s not much I can do about their decision – besides choose to use my voice to try and positively impact thousands of humans for perfectly good reasons – curiosity, kindness, acceptance, and community.
So here is my rhyme, because all I can do is keep bringing my kind of shine.
Dear Rabbi – The Rhyme
Dear Rabbi, when did you stop seeing the beauty of Jews?
Stuck in your black hat box, like if you peek out, you will lose?
When did you get stuck inside your own mind –
That you fail to see how our people are all part Divine?
When did the Jew rules become so black and white?
When did you become judge of what’s wrong and what’s right?
It all just seems so silly to me – the beauty of Jewry is we all get to be free.
Why does it feel like we’re all so caged in – by a long-ago story which nobody can win?
We no longer need to study in caves for days – we get to celebrate, laugh, question, play
When did the 12 tribes turn into one extreme power trip?
When did tradition turn into an ex-clusive membership?
When did we start to disrespect diversity?
Why aren’t we sticking together thru all this adversity?
When did you forget the need to protect us?
Why over and over do you choose to reject us?
When will you let go of the anguish –
Let your fear diminish and begin to cherish –
Everyone who is Jew-ish?
Did you know that -ish means approximately? It means that you don’t get to be the monopoly.
It means there’s a spectrum, no one way to be Jews – simplifying it down – it means you just do you.
You do you, we do us, and we’ll meet in the middle – it’s not that hard and it’s time to solve this damn riddle.
Your way is okay and our way is too – that goes for me, for him, for her – every Jew. We each get to define what it means to ourselves, we weren’t created to be Hashem’s little elves. We are different in glory, we know that to be true -time to change your old story, and evolve with us too.
Isn’t now the right time to support all kinds of love –
How can marriage be something you’re intolerant of?
Isn’t now the right time to accept the responsibility –
and stand up for each of our unique abilities?
Isn’t now the right time to relinquish your rules –
so that each of us can shine just like we’re jewels
and astonish the world with our wisdom and pearls
to educate and elevate our future – our boys and our girls?
Why is it that –
You say your goal is to learn to keep our religion alive,
but the only thing you’re doing is making it die.
Learning is just as important as a tasty Friday night cholent though nevertheless
You’re halting the progress
The reality is you’re the ones who choose to oppress
Disrupting our desire to live with faithfulness
If you stop to take one moment to think, at the whole world wide –
Let it in, let it sink-
You’re stuck in your power your greed and your mind –
You’ve lost the whole point – you’ve forgotten mankind.
You’re so stuck in fighting for your rules and your ways,
You’ve forgotten what matters – kindness every damn day.
When will you realize that our diversity is the prize?
No more herding for sheep – support individual rise.
When will you stop waiting for the messiah –
and instead realize it’s YOU who needs to move higher,
that until YOU do there will be no redemption, no exemption, no succession –
we need to move thru this tension so that we can strengthen.
So that we can flourish.
So that we can nourish
Each other with humanity in unity so we can be one true community
Because my tradition does not mean I deserve extradition. Just because you’re in opposition.
You see my position – my pure ambition – is none of your jurisdiction.
Dear Rabbi. You expect respect but how am I supposed to respect you when you don’t respect me. In fact, you reject me, and I need to protect me, and my whole Jewish family. How can I show you respect when you fear my head, shoulders, my voice, my choice?
Because my definition of Judaism is my own, its home grown – it doesn’t mean I should be forced to be alone.
Yes, we might be different – but it doesn’t mean we’re not equal.
Jew 2.0 – isn’t it time for the sequel?
Out of curiosity, I asked a question on the real book of our times, one where we don’t need to read between the lines – the Facebook.
What does being Jewish mean to you? I received 613 responses from a crew of Jews.
All different, all important, all right, none wrong – and so I don’t understand why we can’t all belong.
While you battle for power, for titles, for money, the rest of Jews sit and wonder – when is the year we’ll be Jew enough for you? We’ve got apples and honey, we light candles all year, celebrate Friday night dinner with laughter and cheer, we help one another, at least we do what we can, we include every woman, child, other and man, we give we care we create, we dream and we dance, we innovate, procreate – isn’t that enough to make us all Jews? Family kindness connection are all the right cues.
What else do you want, for us all to just pray? Someone’s got to work and bring home food every day. This country is thriving – our diaspora too – you should be THANKING every single kind of Jew. We’re spreading, were shedding, we’re shining as one – we need you to be with us so our part can be done. We know it’s important, this tradition and all, but let us each define it, that’s the point – it’s our call.
We’re living new lives, taking giant strides, for all of humankind – when will you choose to open so we can have peace of mind?
You see, how will we ever expect peace between others if we cannot make peace within ourselves?
If you refuse to see how I deserve to be, how I am a Jew – you can avoid it ignore it and abhor it But the reality lies in that the Jewish world thrives – and it’s only the extreme that keeps us from living our dream.
Our dream to be free, to have a country, to find liberty, for you and for me.
We need you to accept us, we beg you dear reb – let’s gather the 12 tribes – and put our past to bed. Dear Rabbi, we ask you – think outside the hat box – because not every Jew can like bagel and lox. Some noses are big and some very small, some black hats are hipster and some are just tall.
We all deserve to belong – we’re sure G-d will agree – he doesn’t love you more than he also loves me. The beauty of Jewry is the shades deep inside, accept it so we can move forward with pride.
Dear Rabbi, now that I’m almost done with my spiel, I hope your mind is more open and you grasp the real deal. The light will come sooner if we choose to believe – that each of us in our own way can help us all to achieve.
Dear Rabbi, we are not just black and white. We are a rainbow of color – we all shine our own light. TRADITION, we get it, its means lots to us too – trust we’re doing our best to just be a good Jew.
It’s just that we see it differently than you. Just come on and with us, and in the most loving way – NU?!
Zo Flame is a creative writer, cultural journalist, and hippie entrepreneur who founded a social initiative called School of Shine based on the need to inspire personal growth, meaningful connection, deep thought and positively impactful communities.
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