Today is twenty days, which is two weeks and six days of the Omer, in the year 5782. יסד שבתפארת. Yesod ShebeTiferet. Foundation of Beauty. אמת Emet, Truth, is another name for the sefirah we are meditating into this week. In my heart, I know that the foundation of beauty is truth.
The Authenticity of Beauty that Pierces the Soul: Truth
We all have intuition. Whether its the music that we like or the speaker whom we connect with: some things call us in while other things repel us.
I am a person called towards truth. I don’t care for artifice. I am not interested in production values. I connect with soulful praying and inspiring art.
When I feel bonded with beauty, it is because the truth has reached out and forced me to take notice.
How do you bond with beauty? What is the truth reaching towards you at this moment?
May 5, Cinco de Mayo, Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day
Jewish days begin and end at sundown. So, I am counting the 20th day on what is still May 5, 2022 in my time zone. Which means it is still Cinco de Mayo, but it is not Yom HaAtzmaut. Mexico declared victory over French colonialists, though they lost a subsequent battle with the Second French Empire. Still, it is a significant day, particularly honoring Mexican American culture.
Israel’s Independence Day was on the 5th of Iyar 5708 (May 14, 1948), though it rarely falls on that day because it moves to avoid occurring too close to Shabbat. I could say a lot more about the importance of Israel and its legitimacy. Jews are the only indigenous people to return to their land and reclaim their self-determination. For a small piece of the story, please see my previous reflection on moving from “peace activism” to progressive Zionist.
Another Terrorist Attack, 3 Israelis Dead
According to the Jerusalem Post:
“The three victims in the deadly attack were identified as 40-year-old Yonatan Habakuk, 40-year-old Boaz Gol, and 35 year-old Oren Ben Yiftach. Together they left behind 16 children.
Seven other people were injured in the attack, one in critical condition and another in serious condition.”
From “Elad terror attack: Manhunt continues, main suspects’ identities released,” by Anna Ahronheim
Two Palestinian suspects from Jenin in the West Bank attacked civilians with axes and knives.
I cannot imagine the inhumane ideology that leads people to murder other humans.
Israel Is Not an Apartheid State
The most vicious lie I ever swallowed was the idea that Israel is an apartheid state. It is based on the false notion that Jews are “imperialist colonizers.” Fundamentally, all of this rhetoric is upheld by anti-Jewish bias in mainstream culture. I could go on, but there’s just too much…
Religious, Cultural, and Individual Liberty
I try avoid heated rhetoric that inflames conversations. Yet, the leaked Supreme Court document overturning Roe v. Wade is such a quintessential piece of Christian, patriarchal hegemony, that it is hard for me to deny the relevance of saying the thing in this moment.
The cells in my body do not have rights separate from me.
The “soul” is a concept formed by pagan Greeks and is not part of the original intent of the Bible.
The poetry of the Psalms should never be the basis of law. No Jewish law is decided based on the words of poetry in the Bible. It seems barbaric to strip poetry of its nuance and pretend that it was intended as the basis for legal decisions. Further, the Hebrew Bible itself upholds the personhood of pregnant people and the distinction between pregnancy and human life.
So yeah, my culture and my religion stand firmly on the side of privacy, bodily autonomy, and a religious imperative to support pregnant people’s ability to make their own decisions about their bodies.
Grounded in Truth, I Relish Beauty
I’m still in awe of artists. I cannot wait to experience Jenny Yurshansky’s installation at the American Jewish University.
I think this is why I enjoy The Business from KCRW: the process through which artists create their work is endlessly fascinating. I’m looking forward to having more time to explore culture once my studies are completed this month.