Yom Kippur has me baffled

I have a very serious question and I need answers that are true and not really opinion. Here are my questions:

1. A person who holds to political views that hurt another group/race/culture, are they obligated to seek forgiveness from said group?

2. A person that hurts another without knowledge of causing said hurt, are they obligated to seek forgiveness from that person once that person informs them of the hurt? What about, if they don’t believe they did wrong?

3. In our bedtime Shema we say “Master of the universe, I hereby forgive anyone who has angered or vexed me or sinned against me, whether physically or financially, against my honor or against anything else that belongs to me, whether accidentally or intentionally, inadvertently or deliberately, by speech or by deed….. How can we get up the next day and post/say/feel the same ager and hate towards others that we felt the day before?

4. How do you forgive those that show hate towards a group/race/culture when they, themselves don’t see that they are doing it and therefore NEVER seek forgiveness for that pain they cause?

As you may see my heart is burden today as we move closer to Yom Kippur. I see post by my fellow Jews that are so filled with hate and pain and out-right distrust. I have, over the past few days been trying to figure out just how to forgive and let it all go, in spite of the fact, they, themselves have never sought forgiveness. I fear that we have become so engrossed in our “who’s right and who’s wrong” that we forgot that on both sides are people. We no long call each other brother or sister. It is now liberals vs conservatives and left vs right.

Yet, we are all to stand before the judge of all things and feel clean and forgiven. How can any Jew agree with such hopefulness and still believe he/she is a righteous person? Friends, my heart is heavy with these and other matters today.

Living in Germany, I see and feel the rise of the most hateful, vail people in all the world. Someone shared with me an incident that happened over the weekend at Ikea. A group of young men were calling names to certain people who were going to shop. When reported to the store, they called the police and the men were removed. What I found most troubling is the fact they felt OK to do such a thing. One older women said to me, this is how it all happened before.

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Neg late Not acceptable

Wow, when was the last time I posted something here?  Its not like my life stopped, on the contrary, it got very busy and exciting.  Now the question is, how do I bring you up to date on all that has been going on?

I think the best way is the start off slowly and allow it all to come back to me as I try to write it all out for you.  I think I will go month by month.  We have only been living here in Germany for 10 months now.  First I would like to bring you up to date on our move and the new home we got, well, that is if I have not already told you about all that.

So, let me do a little bit of looking around on here, things have changed since I last logged in, and see where I left off so I can pick up from that point and move on up to now……

Arriving!  

Our flight was long and most uncomfortable☹️. The excitement of flying to another country quickly disappeared as we went from flight to flight. 😰😰The long layovers did not help at all.😤 We boarded our final flight around midnight. There were paperwork issues that the pilot told us about which caused multiple delays. 2 a.m. Ready for take off. Yay!  🤗Announcements. Now lights out!  


I slowly drift off to sleep….Oh, boy.  Now what? Baby screaming. Nooooooooo! I’m exhausted.😢😢😢 Lights come back on and the attendant asks if we want a drink. No, I want to sleep. 😴😴😴😴. I pull out a book and try to read, but my eyes are too tired. I give up on that. This baby will not stop crying, and the mother seems to be indifferent to its screams. 😭 We are now 4 hours into our flight, and that baby has not stopped crying. The sound is ear-piercing. Now my headache kicks in. Ugh. Hour after hour the baby cries non-stop. Don’t they realize I have not been to sleep for over 24 hours now?  Phew. The crying finally stopped, and I laid back once more in this tiny seat. Turn left, right, and back to the left to find a position that will work.  Ahhhh. I find one, and off to sleep I go……..Nope. The crying  is back, and even louder than before. I give up on sleep. 

We arrive in Ramstein at 1400 local time. Now time to get off this plane of more than 100 people. This is going to take a while. We get our carry-ons and wait. My head is spinning. I soon realize that I’m no longer in the US. I start to feel very homesick. As the tears form in my eyes, we began to move off the plane. I hold back all my emotions and walk off the plane with more bags than I can carry. They pull us out of the very long line to check my husband in.  Yay, I think to myself. We won’t have to wait in that long line. Paperwork begins and the unthinkable happens. We are told to go back to the line, only now we are last because we got out of the line as instructed. 😡

Now to find our sponsor, get to the hotel and sleep. Not just yet.  We have to go through customs. Not too bad, since we did not have to wait very long.  I’m tired and now very hungry 😋.  What now? Our bags will not fit in the sponsor’s car😡. Another soldier comes over and helps. There. All done. Now off to the hotel. We get our room 🔑 and unload the car. Now the sponsor drives us to the commissary to get some food. You know the drill. Shopping while you are hungry is never good 😊. I buy junk, junk, and more junk. After all, I can’t get non-kosher food, so our selection is very limited. I’m too tired to look for kosher food or even go back to the room to cook. We find a bag of chips and soda. How awful is that?  

The sadness is back. My husband scarfs down the food, showers, and trots off to bed. He is sleeping like a 👶. The room is cold, and there is no heat. We arrived just as the Fall season began. This adds to my unhappiness, and all I want is to speak to family. The room offers free WiFi, so I log on and Glide my family and friends. I was hoping it would help, but it made me feel even worse. I finally fall off to 😴. Day one is done.  Check. ✅ 

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.  

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.”