My first Tishah B’Av as a Jew

 Tehilim 137:5-6 has been in my heart over a month now. –If I forget you O, Yerushalayim……If I do not set Yerushalayim above my highest joy…….
Spending this Tishah B’Av in a hotel has really put things, for me in a different perspective. I watched the news last week and saw how much hate is in the world and how we, as Jews, have allowed our differences; which should have brought us closer, to separate us. We can not depend on the world to accept us, love us, or want us. We must do these things for ourselves.  
I don’t think there is a Jew alive today that does not want to stand before the Beit HaMikdash. We must see and understand different as to what we should or should not do in prayer, eating, or dressing but we all agree on returning home and Hashem is Echad 
My heart is heavy and my mind is filled with sadness but it more about us as a people and the division that we have allowed the world/diaspora to create. I pray that we, today can just think on Tehillim 137. As we perform the service of Tikkun Chatzot, we recite Eichah and Kinnot after reciting the Kinnot following Eichah we recite the passage of Ve’atah Kaddish, ‘and You are the Holy One” and the full Kaddish without Tiskabeil until minhah, we will also have in our hearts to end the division that separates us all.  
Before the onset of Tishah B’Av, we enter the synagogue and remove our shoes. We pray Maariv slowly and tearfully, as mourners would pray.  
My mind was filled with many thoughts and feelings.  
For everyone who is fasting today, I wonder if we, as a people, would accept Moshiach today? Each group has its own idea of who this is and what will happen. Who’s group would he side with, if you please. Any group that is not upheld as “right” would reject him as the Moshiach. Sadly, if it is the group of the majority that is rejected……….
I’ve felt deep sadness over the loss of the Beis HaMikadash my whole life. It has never been a day thing for me in which I turn on my sadness as soon as sun set and then turn it off at sunset. It has never left me. I am in no way judging those who mourn and cry today. I just could not feel that way when the sun set last night. I tried, I really did but it was not real. It was forced and I could not, in good faith, continue. As I said, I’ve felt it all my life. 
So today, like any day, I morn the lost of our Temple and look forward to the day it will be rebuild.  
May we all have an easy fast. (For those fasting)
I pray I have not offended anyone. These are just my thoughts.

Post pack out and PCSing

This might only be understood by those who left Christianity. In the morning, I had a routine of worship. I would wake and turn on some worshipful music and pray. As a Jew, I pray, albeit different, and often with less joy. (Truth can be hard to admit).
Over the pass few years I’ve tried to find Jewish music that had the worshipful connections to it. I found maybe one or two songs that I really connect with.  It is not to say that there aren’t songs within the Jewish genre, it is just that I have not found them.  

When ever I try to find something familiar, I often stop myself from singing it because it contains verses that I no longer hold to be true.  We are in the mist of our PCS move out and the house is pretty empty house and quite.  There are no chairs to sit on or tables to work from.  I find reading hard because I am always laying on the floor, which is super hard, or I am standing and holding the book.  I can;t really study like I would would like right now.  Music seems to be my only true outlet and I don’t have it to calm my soul.  

I often feel my mind is going a hundred miles an hour and there are no breaks to slow me down.  I’ve been thinking about spending my days at the book store.  At least there I would have a chair, a table, and some good coffee…..hahaha

We are living out of our suitcases.  Some have asked why did we ship our HHG so soon, well, I figured we could be comfortable here or there.  I wanted to ship them so that we will not have to wait months once we are there to get back to “normal” life, what ever “normal” is for an Armywife.  

Let your light so shine……

I remember my parents telling me stories of how MLK was viewed in the world. They said that the FBI would put out all kinds of lies about thing he never said or did. They wanted the world to dislike him and see him as a trouble maker. It worked for the most part back then and many said he was a trouble maker. J. Edgar Hoover made it his life’s mission to discredit MLK not for th
Change is hard, no matter who you are. A friend shared with me last night the fear she has for her husband who is a police officer and black. I was in tears as I listened to her share her fear. They are expecting their first child. 
I want to speak to my Jewish brothers and sisters for a moment. we have long known what it is like to have false reports made in the media about us. We have faced many hardships in this world and felt the hate of others simply because of who we are. It is not to say that there are not Jews who do wrong-criminal acts-because there are. There are Jews that hate others simply because of the color of their skin. We are in no way perfect. 
This is also true of black people. Our struggle has been felt for more than 400 years. As an African American Jew, it is even worse. As an African American Jewish police officer, it is just as bad. At some point, we as Jews must learn to rise above the biased news reports that are plaguing our world today and seek after truth before we post or repost a report. 
If you are a Jew and you are a member of groups that promote hate in any form, you must ask yourself one very important question: why? Why is it ok for me to claim to be a bearer of light and promote darkness? We as a people must rise above this type of stereotyping. They’ve stereotyped us all our lives. Let’s start today to bring love into the world. 
Lies are often disguised in truth. will you promote the lie for the small amount of truth it may contain?

Unaccompanied Move is done!

July 5, the movers came to pack our UG.  You know, the shippment that goes on a cargo flight.  I was so excited.  It was our first shipment to Germany.  It made it all seem real, that we will be living in another county for awhile.  The movers were very nice and polite but a word of caution: it is true that you must keep your eye on everything they pack and write on your paperwork.  DON’T SIGN UNTIL YOU ARE SURE.  They will try hard to get you to sign at the end without reading or really looking at what they have written.  Make sure your “high-value list is complete.  Be sure each box is clearly marked with what was packed.  Don’t let the packers tell you how they will pack your stuff, it is yours and at the end you will have to live with your lack of care.  I made a time speed-up of the move.  

Why it is so hard for you to understand………

I have lots of friends on my FB page that post things that I disagree with, often I find myself at a lost to know what to do about the feeling I have with the post, comment, or picture made them. Here is someone that has articulated my deepest feelings these past few days.  
As a black women, I know the TRUTH of what Tikvah Nidia Womack is saying in this post. When I was in the process of converting to Judaism, I was asked how I would deal with being hated? My response was simple, what exactly in my world would change? I am the mother of two black boys and each day I watch the news I am in complete fear of what they are facing out in the world. My son called me one day to tell me that the police pulled him over for running the stop sign. He said my son did what is called “a rabbit stop”. My son was very upset and ask the officer to give him his badge number. This put me in in mortar fear for his life. When he told me the police officer was gone I started to breath again. There are not many people who will understand why I stopped breathing at that moment. But when you see how easy it is for cops to shoot and kill black men, and prosecutors saying no charges will be filed, you lose sleep at night.  
I was asked by a dear “white” friend, when did it become legal to kill black people? I almost laughed at her question. I said, when did it become illegal? She looked puzzled. I told her the day we stop looking at each other as a “race” and see that we are all the same, will be the day KILLING will end.  
As a black Jewish woman, I know and fully understand hate. I live in it everyday of my life. When two woman go into labor, one white and the other black, they don’t feel the same joy. Soon after birth or the male child, the white woman is at peace, while the black women come to terms with the reality of having a male child. This child is born with 100 points less than his counterpart. He is black and therefore he is not as valued as the other. Old folks use to say “black peoples are born with bad credit, they must work to improve it, white people are born with top rate credit, they must work to make it bad”.   
Please don’t misunderstand my post. I am not one who cares if my friends are white or black, I love people. I’m saying I understand the post make by Tikvah. Life is very different for us.

Written by Tikvah Nadia Womack:

“To my black friends, my Jewish friends, my white friends, my ethnic friends, and multi-racial friends and all friends not covered under one of those descriptions. Please note I do not use Facebook often and I surely don’t use it as a platform, but I feel it is necessary today. Let me explain to you #blacklivesmatter from my perspective (and please note I do not speak for all black people). It means that I have to raise an adorable son with his hard working professional father and pray to G-d that I was able to teach him enough manners and common sense not to get gunned down or hurt because of the way he looks, walks, or talks. It means that I have to second guess whether I will allow my son to wear hoodies, not just so he doesn’t give off the wrong impression, but so he is not killed. It means I have to think about not just if the area he is going to is safe, but because of who he is, is it going to be safe, whether it is a different country or down the street. It means that while I was pregnant with him and before I knew I was having a son, no exaggeration, I cried! I cried because he is black and Jewish and I had no idea what his future would look like, but I knew from both ends there would be moments he wouldn’t be safe and I wouldn’t be there. Hear me, I said SAFE, not uncomfortable, not unhappy, and I didn’t use maybe; I said I KNEW he wouldn’t be SAFE! Can you imagine, have you seen my son…but I know it is true! I am writing this because I need you on some small level to hear my truth. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to respond or like it, but it is my TRUTH and some of my friend’s truths. He cannot hide who he is, therefore maybe through my moments of speaking out when I can, I affect some thought, idea, or moment of potential change to try and protect him or at least through G-d’s help create an advocate or two for him. Again, please understand this is where we (again speaking for my truth) are in 2016. If you know history, you know why this truth might exist for me and maybe for others. If you deny the present, that’s fine, but you cannot erase truth. And yes, more than one truth can exist, for a while, but inevitably one truth is followed. So in this moment, I have to say I am upholding my truth, because I cannot allow others truths to dominate mine in exchange for worry and pain. R.I.P to ANYONE lost in violence, and may we all find some way towards peace while in search of truth.”

One should have Peace with every situation……

HASHEM is my shepherd, I shall not lack. In lush meadows He lays me down, beside the tranquil waters He leads me. Psalms 23:1-2
This psalms of David’s has kindled a spark of hop in countless human hearts throughout the ages. David teaches us how to accept the “unacceptable” situations. There are times when we must struggle mightily against adversity and carry on the battle even agains superior forces. But……there is also time for surrender, a time to realize that the fight is futile and that we must accept our lot in life, however disappointing it may be.  
Over the years there have been many people come and go in my life. After all, that is life, right? I’ve had to stay good bye to so many people that I love and care for. I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately and I just needed to share with you all what is in my heart. My mother was a kind gentle woman, that is, until you did something to one of her kids. Well, I’m not sure I was loved as my brothers and sister was. You see, when my mom died she told my grandmother to take care of her kids, she named each of them one by one. I was not one of them. I asked my grandmother why didn’t my mother name me? Her answer to me was she just forgot…..how does a mother “just forget” one of her own kids.  
I’ve been looking, all my life for someone to replace to “love” that mother gives to her children. When is it ok to “accept” that which you can not change? And more to the point, how do you accept it?