Instead of using slang for people who passed the law in Texas that refers to Muslim fundamentalists,this implying that extremism is somehow Islamic, foreign, “other,” (stoking Islamophobia!) reckon with the fact that these are Christians.

1/x
Christian fundamentalists who don't represent the views of most Christians, to be sure. I'm aware of what mainline churches teach, I'm aware even that the majority of Catholics, according to Pew, think abortion should be legal.

But they are Christians.

AND (keep reading)
Please don’t play the “not real Christians” card here.

Reckon w/how Christianity is used to justify this. How it was used to justify slavery, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Holocaust, colonialism.

Take responsibility for your tradition’s harms & your privilege today.
I know it’s tempting to just want to cut back to the teachings of Jesus, to St. Francis, to Merton and Dr. King and James Cone and everyone else preaching about love and justice and care for one another. I love those guys too. And the Teresas and all of them. BUT.
AND, I should say. And I get it. I would love to ignore the bad stuff in my tradition and problematic and downright horrible stuff done by my co-religionists in the name of Judaism. But it’s not the way of honest reckoning and grappling. It’s not the way of facing true things.
AND denying the (toxic) threads of Christian history makes it impossible to grapple with those threads, deal with them, address the truth.

Which is that CHRISTIANS passed these laws. CHRISTIANS are calling for bounties on the heads of people aiding those seeking healthcare.
And it’s a kind of gaslighting. “Oh, the Crusades? The Easter pogroms? The pro-Holocaust theology? The genocides & cultural genocides (are those different? Maybe not) of colonialism? Not Real Christians.” My who were ancestors murdered in the name of the Gospel would like a word.
I know there is wonderful, powerful, liberatory Christianity. I am a big fan of many of its teachers. I believe that the best and most holy of it acknowledges and grapples with the horrors perpetrated in Jesus’ name. In any case, this other Christianity is a thing. Now.
Of course you can’t undo what has been done. But that doesn’t mean there cannot be real reckoning and repentance work around the past, and real accountability demands for the present. And the transformative work needed for tomorrow to be different.
Start by committing to never, ever, EVER use the phrase "Texas Taliban" or make those comparisons. And by grappling with the extremely homegrown fascism in the US. Face it in your theology, in your communities.

And triple down on fighting Islamophobia everywhere you see it.
AND THIS.

Islam is significantly more open to abortion than this law.

So attempting to make Islamophobic analogies is even more *shorts out into garbled angry noise*

And--do I have to spell this out? Who is hurt by your little jokes are Muslim Americans. The Taliban doesn't give a whit about what you think. But these jokes influence cultural conversations and who winds up on the receiving end of them is... not the Taliban.
Do the damn work, stop refusing to look in the mirror, stop punching down, your jokes aren't funny, you are causing harm.
For those asking if this line of thinking leads to a 1A case, I believe that it does. Here, for example, is the piece that @SheilaKatz1 and I wrote about that. At @NCJW we’re writing an amicus brief for the SCOTUS case & suing AZ over their laws. Eg.

newsweek.com/abortion-jewis…

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More from @TheRaDR

15 Sep
Today's a good day to talk about prayer, no?

I know it's a thing that feels hard and uncomfortable to lots of folks, so let's spend some time unpacking some of what it can be.

1/x thread.

For starters, let me make this clear:

I don't believe in vending machine theology.
Like, there is no version of any understanding of the divine that I have that involves me praying for a pony and getting a pony. Or a fast car or that gig that I want or whatever.

Courage, patience, compassion? That's different, we'll get there.
"But rabbi, the traditional Jewish liturgy includes prayers for livelihood, for healing, for all sorts of things! We ask for stuff!" Yes, and the traditional Jewish liturgy is written in the first person plural.

Not I. We.

So again, patience, we'll get there.
Read 30 tweets
14 Sep
The thing about Yom Kippur is that if you’re only starting to do your accountability work, like, today, you’ve not only missed the entire point of the holy day and the last six-ish weeks but of much of Judaism overall.
"For sins between a person & God, Yom Kippur atones, but for sins between a person & another, Yom Kippur does not atone until the one who harmed appeases the other person." Mishnah Yoma 8:9.

So if you show up to Weds night with your interpersonal playbook unfinished, sorry.
And if you think you're going to squeeze in all the hard work of tshuvah--repentance and repair--in the next 25 hours, like, good, try to get it done if you can, good luck to you in all sincerity, but friends, we have been blowing that shofar wakeup call since August 8th.
Read 18 tweets
14 Sep
Hey, let's just look at some David Wojnarowicz art, shall we?

(Arthur Rimbaud in New York, 1978–79) Photo of guy on subway wearing Rimbaud mask
Self-Portrait of David Wojnarowicz (1983–84), David Wojnarowicz with Tom Warren. David Wojnarowicz painted with flowers on one side of him an
This one makes me cry every time. (Trigger warning, descriptions of homophobia and harm)

Untitled (One day this kid…) (1990), Photo of a child with a description of the horrible things p
Read 10 tweets
13 Sep
A few notes on fasting for Yom Kippur, aka "Should I...?"

1/x thread

Let's start with Shulchan Aruch 554:6--a sick person who needs to eat should just eat, doesn't need to ask the doctor. Health is the most important thing, y'all! Be the judge of your needs & don't be foolish!
That said, if you're going to eat and able to eat in smaller increments, or less than usual, do that. And lay off the delicacies.

If you're not fasting for health reasons, at least eat simple food and not, like, bon bons or whatever.
And yes, traditional Jewish law (written/codified by men) typically says that nursing & pregnant ppl should fast, but friends, health ALWAYS COMES FIRST.
Read 12 tweets
13 Sep
Poor Esau.

In the plain text of the Bible, he's a sweet guy who tried to do what was expected of him--but he's so often painted as a brute, or worse.

Why? Because of agendas it suited.

Families do this all the time. So do societies.

My latest:

lifeisasacredtext.substack.com/p/characters-a…
I mean, listen. For the Rabbis living under Roman rule, he was an easy target to play out their Big Feelings.

And for Christians trying to Make A Statement by identifying THEMSELVES with the line of Jacob, well, that was a whole other way to play out agendas and feelings.
But there are reasons why it's not OK, and consequences it has, both in literature and in life. Reasons why flattening nuance and depth can have real-world consequences, why forgetting to do it on the page can impact us out here.
Read 6 tweets
12 Sep
Here is some essential Rabbi @SharonBrous Torah for you.

No, but really:

ikar.org/sermons/rosh-h…
“There’s a massive gray area that consumes much of the space in our world today, in which we’re being called to make hard calls—about our health and safety and our childrens’, about our willingness to comply with or defy unjust norms and even laws.”
“And yet, it’s harder every day to create a clearing. The noise is real, the stakes are high, and we’re exhausted. Full of grief and worry, shock and outrage. Bereft of sleep. Further than ever from moral clarity and purpose.”
Read 6 tweets

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