Blog: For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Jews... Or, Much A-Blog About Nothing...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hello again!

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to say hello again and that I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! I know I certainly did. I was definitely proud of the way my pumpkin and apple pies turned out! Apple pie is my specialty, but I'd never made pumpkin pie before, so I was a bit nervous.

Anyhoo...Now I'm back at school, and let me tell you, I can't wait to be done! Only two more weeks of class, and then finals. Thank goodness. Blogging will be somewhat limited in the next couple of weeks, probably, but I hope that those of you who actually do read this don't disappear completely! I promise to post at least once a week, ok? :-)

Alrighty, time to get crackin' on my homework (yeah, right!) hahahah


Thursday, November 16, 2006


Hello there, Blogland!

So, I had a bunch of *great* ideas for posts, and somehow in the miraculous act known as sleep, I lost them all. So alas and alack, I've got nothing. Cwap

Oh shoot! I just noticed this little warning doo-hickey that says there's a scheduled outage for 12:30, and it's 12:19 right now. It also says PST, so maybe I don't have to worry...But just in case, I'll stop for now and come back later.

The only real point I had to making this post was to announce that I'll be venturing even further into the cornfields (known as "home") for Thanksgiving break, but first I'll be spending Shabbat/ the weekend in Chicago (and hopefully making it to Milwaukee on the 18th!). I'm really excited because I'm heading up this evening, and so before Shabbat tomorrow MammaHila is going to go shopping with me! Woohoo...'Cuz ya know, I have to by birthday presents and what not...Seems like every darn relative I have has a birthday from Nov.1- Jan. 31st...Hmmm...Interesting point to ponder. But I digress. Bottom line is I need to get busy. Wish me luck dashing around and avoiding all the Christmas shoppers who will no doubt be all decked out in red and green splendor and buying like crazy. This will undoubtedly include MammaHila, who goes nuts at Christmas. Should be good times, as always!

Have a safe and happy Shabbat, as always! And a great Thanksgiving surrounded by your loved ones if I don't get to post again for you all before then!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake!

Click on the title for the link to PT's original post. Read on for my thoughts that are only related to said post in terms of the fact that they are about my Dad:

This post is dedicated to my adorable, goofy Dad. I call him Pappa, actually, and have since I was little. I can remember all of my friends at school looking at me funny because I didn't call him Dad or Daddy. But he wasn't Dad. He wasn't Daddy. He was Pappa. I didn't know why until I was a little older, I just knew that I didn't call him anything but Pappa. My Mom tells me that when they got married, he insisted that no matter what, the children were not going to call him Dad or Daddy, it was going to be Pappa or else they'd call him by his first name, but he wanted them to use the Swedish word. I'm almost 22 and I still can't bring myself to call him anything but Pappa.

Anyhoo, over the years many a person has commented on how much I resemble my dear old Pa, both in terms of looks and personality (I've yet to determine if either way is complimentary, but alas). My Pappa is a character, someone I look up to immensely yet often find myself groaning in embarrassment from in front of other people. Of course, as PT (and Shfira, too, I believe) has said, parents live to embarrass their kids, and I think this is especially true of fathers, because we all know that wives are really second moms to their husbands. ;-)

My Pappa is funny. He's smart. So smart, even, that I kid you not, many of my friends are convinced that he's a spy. Obviously, we will never know, for if he is/was, he cannot tell us about it. But we get a kick out of dreaming up crazy spy stories and adventures for PappaHila to go on, fighting evil and terror worldwide! LOL.

The reason I was inspired to write this post was a conversation I had with my Pappa this weekend. You see, the school I go to has a Dad's Weekend in the fall, and a Mom's Weekend in the spring. So PappaHila came to visit me for the weekend. It is a rare occasion that I get to spend one-on-one time with my pops, so it was a great time. It was especially great to get to talk to him about a variety of things, instead of just the usual things we talk about, like school and financial aid and all the minute details of life. Instead, we had a really interesting and lengthy talk about religion. I guess I've never really talked too much on here about how I've come to want to be Jewish, and I'll save it for another post 'cuz otherwise it'd take forever, but suffice it to say that my Pappa did not grow up being religious at all. He told me this weekend that he pretty much decided around the time of his Confirmation in the Lutheran Church (which used to be the State Church of Sweden, when PappaHila was growing up there) that he thought it was pretty much poppycock and that he wasn't going to swallow all the hoohah that they were trying to push down his throat. Instead, he says, he decided that he'd figure out what religions/G-d/spirituality were all about on his own, in his own way, and on his own terms. Hmmm, so THAT'S where I get my independent/stubborn streak from?? No way!!

So anyway, we were sitting in my dorm room, and he happened to notice the plethora of books on Judaism lining my shelves---I explained that some of them were for classes I had taken/was taking, and that others were just ones I found interesting. And that's when we got to talking about religion, etc. It was interesting to talk to my Pappa about this stuff, because he didn't try to lecture me about wrong vs. right or anything, he didn't try to tell me I was a nutjob for not believing in Jesus, etc. He just listened to me, applauded me for having done my homework and research, and told me that he firmly believes that the most important thing is for someone to find their own path, whatever it may be, that works for them and fulfills whatever needs they have. So, he said, if that means Judaism or Islam or Buddhism, then do it. "I don't have to agree with you to see your point of view." I couldn't agree more. I don't believe anyone else is "wrong" in the sense that they aren't entitled to fulfillment via religious practice just as much as I am because I've picked the "right" religion, I just don't identify/understand their beliefs because they don't make sense to me. And that's ok. It doesn't have to make sense because I've found what does.

I am so lucky that my Pappa is so understanding. Finding where one fits in the world is difficult, and religion/spirituality is often the most controversial one amongst families. Baruch Hashem, my father understands my need to do my own thang, and hasn't tried to make me feel ashamed for following what I believe. I am so lucky.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Public Service Announcement...I promise I'll limit these but this one is too important

I found this little gem when I was being a bum and reading blogs---go figure, right? Well, as I've mentioned before, I'm involved in the anti-rape movement very heavily, and it's a cause that's very important to me. This pretty much sums up the message I give to the literally thousands of students I facilitate workshops for each year. I only hope that somehow, someday, it will get through and sink in.


A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. [F*], they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that [b*s*], how about:

If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, re-post it. It's that important.

This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth....

-author unknown

Friday, November 03, 2006

Of cabbages and kings....Or, On Christian Fundamentalists: Man do they bug me!

Tonight I decided to post an interesting conversation I had on instant messenger with one of my dearest friends, whom I'll call Chaya for the sake of this post. I was just soooo fuming stinking mad after reading this stuff that she showed me that I couldn't help but share it. I usually try to be as accepting as possible of other faiths/religions/spiritual paths/lifestyles, but this is just ridiculous...And people wonder why I turned away from Christianity!!!! (Not that I was raised in this kind of Christianity, but you get my drift)...

Note: Some of the language maybe be somewhat offensive to some people, although I don't think it would be considered inappropriate (no cussing or anything). Please keep in mind that this was a conversation between myself and a friend and we were both having very heated reactions to the information we were discovering...

With that said, please enjoy and feel free to add you thoughts and opinions in the comments section!

Chaya: OMG
Chaya: crazy fundie alert
Hila: lol
Hila: wha?
Chaya: also check out this bit of pious wifely duty:[tt_news]=81&tx_ttnews[backPid]=72&cHash=9044220656
Hila: WTF i can just tell from the URL that its fundie
Chaya: hahahhahahaha
Chaya: read that second link. itll blow your mind
Hila: lol
Hila: ok im on it right now
Chaya: the last page is the "best"
Hila: hahah i am waiting for it
Hila: God Hates DIVORCE
Hila: *yikes*
Chaya: more than beating people and raping kids, apparently!
Hila: yup
Hila: and you know what, this wackjob is SOOO wrong
Chaya: im so glad i dont worship that "god"
Hila: yeah no s***
Hila: i mean, divorce in Judaism is perfectly legal
Hila: in fact, husbands HAVE to grant a divorce to their wives if in any way they violate the ketubah (the marriage contract)
Hila: and this is just in a religious context, we're not talking civil
Chaya: right
Chaya: you knwo what i hate about christianity?
Chaya: notice how all the bible they quote is corinthians, romans, etc
Hila: umm i can think of lots of things
Chaya: why should i give a s*** what paul had to say?
Hila: yeah the occasional matthew, mark, luke, john
Hila: why is his word GOSPEL more than any other disciple of jesus over the past 2000 years
Hila: but rare....always corinthians and romans,
Chaya: i thought the gospel was supposed to be frickin jesus
Hila: i did too
Hila: um, maybe paul was really jesus? :-P
Chaya: romans is the one they pull out for the gay bashing, theres one about laying with another man or something
Hila: well its in leviticus ch. 18
Chaya: obviously paul is more important than jesus, he has like 10 books compared to 4
Hila: which is old testament
Chaya: yeah, theres leviticus and romans
Hila: but they fail to quote that because they REFUSE to follow the old testament, unless it suits them
Hila: thats another thing that doesnt make sense
Chaya: but leviticus, well when thees people start refusing to wear clothing made of mixed cloth, and when they keep kosher, ill take them seriously
Hila: they want to include the Old Testament in the "Bible" but refuse to follow it unless it fits their needs...Yeah no kidding! Thats what i was abotu to say!
Chaya: until then theyre just picking and choosing so they can justify hating gay people
Hila: exactly
Hila: there have even been many rabbis who have said that the translation of the words in hebrew in the sentence from Leviticus "Thou shalt not lie with another man as with a woman, it is an abomination/abhorrence" really is not meant to be taken so seriously
Hila: like, its not good because you cant produce children and therefore you're not fulfilling Gods will to the fullest extent, but it doesnt mean that you will be struck down by lightning
Chaya: right... and honestly, is the need to produce children in our civilization as pressing as it was for an ancient civilization that depended on kids for labor and population?
Hila: nope
Hila: and thats another point of judaism---a bit of a conflict amongst orthodox /conservative/reform jews
Hila: but still most jews have realize that our world is over populated as it is
Hila: the main reason ortho families have so many kids is because of the dying Jewish population, not so much because they want to populate the world
Hila: but you know what i mean
Chaya: right
Chaya: yeah and i understand that, but its not like its like "you are a sinner if you dont have 10 kids" like fundies are
Chaya: because its "what god wants"
Chaya: wow: But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested. Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution.
Hila: ugh see i just closed the page because i couldnt read any more
Hila: i didnt even get that far
Hila: but now i have to read it for myself!
Chaya: thats definitely the worst... theres also advice if you are physically abused. the trick is to be a doormat, and loving and not punish your man so that his heart will be warmed by how loving you are towards him
Chaya: If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets. I am not suggesting you do this to be vindictive or to get even with him. It must be done in humility and love. If your husbands knows that you are the weaker vessel, desperately seeking your survival and that of the kids, and that you are not trying to punish him, but that you are going to stand by and continue to love him, that you are going to wait for him to get out of prison and then try to start over again, it may move his heart to fear if not to repentance.
Hila: OMFG
Hila: SERIOUSLY I like want to report this it is soooooooo vile
Hila: I dont know who I would report it to but DAMN
Chaya: i know. what they are advocating is illegal... the part about forgiving your molesting husband because god wants you to... its a felony to knowingly expose kids to a sexual predator
Chaya: this same site has child rearing "advice" which pretty much consists of beating the kids into submission
Chaya: i heard that they had to wait until the kids were adults to publish it for fear of PROSECUCTION
Hila: where did you hear that? i mean abotu the waiting till the kids were adults---and what kids? their own?
Chaya: i think so. someone on my blog said that so i have no corroboration for that statement
Hila: hmmm interesting
Hila: where's the beating part LOL
Hila: these people should be turned into the police
Chaya: The following article is designed to be used as a resource in defending your faith on Biblical child training. If the Federal or State agencies take me to court over advocating corporal chastisement, this will be part of my defense.
Hila: WTF!!!!!!!!!!
Hila: Oh dear GOD!!!
Hila: who the hell can we tell about this---seriously i want to vomit even more now!
Chaya: i know. the sucky thing about the internet is its not within state boundaries.... i dunno where these wackf***s live, i assume someone has reported them... and im not sure of the law here. i am not sure if writing a book advocating child abuse is illegal, or if youd actually have to have evidence of a real life kid who is abused
Hila: yeah it blows.....grrr, ok, there they go again f****** quoting the Old Testament only when it suits them
Hila: let me tell you, Jewish parents DO NOT HIT THEIR CHILDREN
Chaya: oh god, im sure not
Hila: Maybe in some cases
Chaya: this seems to be a fundy xtian phenomenon
Chaya: i mean im sure some have but not because they thought gawd was telling them to

And that's where I'll leave off with that. Again, I'm sorry to any of you who are offended, or who do not agree with my interpretation/representation of Jewish beliefs. But it's my blog. I can say what I want. Gotta love the internet :-)

Fighting Fundies since 1984

Ok, so to preface this post, I want to turn your attention to the illustrious Fred Phelps, if you haven't already heard of him. His various websites include,, and This man is BEYOND what I affectionately call "fundie" principles. The following is an email that I sent to the "Westboro Baptist Church" I put the title in quotes because, as far as I know, no real church of any kind would support the kind of hatemongering whackjob beliefs that Phelps and his family's "church" preach. Please note that much of this e-mail is intentionally tongue-in-cheek. Enjoy.


I am a Swedish Jew. And a woman. So yes, I know, I'm going to hell,
according to your principles. I am curious, however, who is NOT going
to hell, then? If I am correct, according to what I have found at your
site, the following kinds of people are going to hell:


Now, if we expand that and look at it further, we see that that pretty
much leaves no one except for members of the Westboro Baptist Church
who are going to heaven, because the reason Americans are going to
hell is because they live in a country that supports gays, which are
considered an abomination according to the Bible. So, we can infer
then that non-believers are also going to hell, which would include
anyone who does not strictly adhere to the doctrine of Fred Phelps
and/or the Westboro Baptist Church. Therefore we can safely assume
that all peoples of other religions/beliefs, even within Protestant
Christianity, are doomed to the fiery depths of hell. This would mean
that approximately 4.4 billion people (at least) are most assuredly
going to hell (this is based on my research of how many people
identify with various belief systems throughout the world.
Christianity in all its variations comes in with around 1.6 billion
followers worldwide).Am I correct so far?

So, another question I have is, if you hate gays and America, in turn,
for "supporting" gays, then why are you still here? I mean, it's a
free country, after all---you can leave at any time and I'm sure no
one will mind too much. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for you
having your right to free speech---so I'm not about to tell you to
shut up. I really could care less, you see. I'm just curious. I mean,
America is basically an abyss of perverted nutjob sinners, so why
stay? How about Canada? You could move to Russia, too,
perhaps--Siberia is pretty deserted so there's no risk of crazy
fag-lovers there!

Oh, and about your stance on "Bloody Butcher Bush": shouldn't you be
praising him? I mean, your site clearly states that you wish the
numbers of dead soldiers in Iraq were exponentially higher than they
currently are, so shouldn't you be thanking Bush for sending the evil
fag perverts over to get killed? Call me crazy but I'd be dancing
around a bonfire chanting his name if I were you. Alas, I'm just a
stupid Swedish Jewish woman. What would I know?


A tree-hugging-liberal-feminist-queer