I’m writing another piece for Hevria. Something about Jews, G-d and community.
But I can’t finish it.
Because all I’m thinking about is a hearing with Rabbis and victims and cover-ups of abuse.
I’m thinking about how painful it is to see our leadership fumble and falter so despicably, so obviously.
How unbearable it is to hear words that describe my faith, that reflect my ideals, in a context that makes them sound useless and inane.
Bais Din, smichah, shliach, Halacha, mesirah, yeshivah, Torah, Chabad, teshuvah… SSHHHHHHHH. Please- Don’t say those words again! They do not belong here, paraded around in a royal court like Princes without their clothes on, abused and misused like others on your watch.
You might think its embarrassing. Shameful. Disgraceful. Completely cringeworthy.
And yes, there’s ignorance
So much ignorance.
And so many mistakes.
Many, many mistakes.
Opportunity, as well.
Because beyond the spectacle of this gruesome collision of values
There lies something Messianic about it all.
Watching the layers fall, the voices of those silenced finally heard
The Truth emerge.
Asking ourselves: what does true leadership look like?
For although we are meant to be a Light unto the Nations, sometimes the Nations remind us of our role,
They shine their flashlights in our most dark corners, forcing us to look where we don’t want to, where we’ve closed our eyes, hearts and souls for so long.
And now, we can’t hide anymore. The phrases and -isms are not enough. We need to be real.
Like a mother bearing down through the last grunts of pain, pushing through the constraints,
We’re pushing through the distortions, the false prisms that Power create to delude and contort justice
We are forging toward a place where all is illuminated.
For on the same day that I sit until 1 am, for yet another day, hearing the hearing, I learn about a new film, produced in Israel, by a ba’al teshuvah filmmaker who asks this question: How will I teach my son about sex? What makes Sperm so Sacred?
And now, from another corner of the world, light travels to dark corners
Talks flow about tadpoles that create life, Jewish views on healthy sexuailty and reclaiming the Conversation that has been shunned for so long.
Parents, its time to pull your children close. Nothing is taboo– except the refusal to talk.
And on the same day as I watch clips of this documentary and I watch Rabbis admit to advocating for abusers and silencing victims
An event is held in a small city in Middle America, where survivors, educators, therapists and community members have gathered to break the stigma around child sexual abuse
And a room is filled with those who care, and sympathize, and wonder:
How can I empathize with a victim? How can I help ease the pain? How can I make our leaders accountable?
How can I protect our children?
And in this room where the Watchers of our Jewish Community roar, we are all held answerable.
We are all Leaders
Ready to rip away our masks
To shine our light once again through the thick darkness.
For Jews: Its Time to Join the Real Sexual Revolution!
The time has come to sanctify the bris
To finally behave as Jews are commanded to act
As holy ambassadors for Truth, shining our torches toward a place
where there is no more shame, lies or guilt
To my fellow revolutionaries I say,
This is not just about abuse, sex, or power- there’s more.
This is our chance to lamp-light the way with respect, courage and care
Enlightening that wondrous thing that is most sacred and vulnerable to us all–