Picture the scene: The Israelites have been wandering for 40 years in the desert and are finally on the banks of the Jordan river just mere miles from the Holy Land. Moses, knowing that his time as their leader is coming to end, offers one final speech to his people. This not-so-short speech, which is basically the entire book of Deuteronomy, is a look back at their shared history and words of advice for their future. Specifically in this first portion of Deuteronomy, D’varim, Moses does not mince words and offers a harsh rebuke of his people. He says:
One woman and her reticent seven year old child came in because she saw the chalk and balloons from the street. We invited her in, and gave her daughter a meal, and after she devoured a bagel, we gave her more. The way they ate said they hadn’t eaten in a while. When I told her she could have more, her eyes brightened. Then, we sat and played Penny Pack with the deck of cards, and then the teen leaders taught her Rummy, which I had taught them. She asked her young daughter to decide whether she wants to stay for a bit. After some food in her belly, the daughter was more social and said, “I’ve made my decision.” Then she pulled up a chair next to me. We sat and played the card game that her mother had been playing with the interns. I invited both of them into the library, and had her take books to read for herself, or for her child. She said under her breath, “thank God, this program exists, something positive like this exists, because I would have gone somewhere else I shouldn’t have gone today.
But I’m here.” I welcomed her back and said the doors are always open.
A Latino family came in clutching a flyer that I had passed out at Spring Garden Elementary, and the hands of two kids. The parents didn’t speak any English. We had the interns effortlessly include the kids and involve them in their games. I speak Spanish, so I managed to learn from the parents that they were just on their way to receive social security benefits and figured they’d stop in for the kids’ breakfast before a long day. Eric, the chairperson of Breaking Bread on Broad, put on Bachata music, and the parents’ faces morphed from a glazed-over look to two happy smiles.
Have you seen the new Wonder Woman movie?
I have been thinking about Wonder Woman this week, because of some recent news commentary. The Israeli Woman who sued El Al airlines for sexism won her landmark case. She had been told to change her seat because an Orthodox man wanted to ensure that he would not inadvertently be touched by a woman. The Israeli court found the gender-based seat-changing coercion practice, violates Israel’s anti-discrimination codes.
The woman, Renee Rabinowitz, was represented by the Israel Religious Action Center, the public advocacy and legal arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. The head of the Israel Religious Action Center, Anat Hoffman, described the 83-year old plaintiff Renee Rabinowitz as Wonder Woman. Funny, because Anat Hoffman might herself be called a Wonder Woman. From the courtroom to the Women of the Wall, Anat Hoffman has for years advocated for civil rights, women’s rights, state separation from Orthodox authority, and democracy in Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever seen the hashtag #firstworldproblems? A simple google search brings up some great ones like:
The struggle of finding storage for 20 bottles of champagne #firstworldproblems
I got really tan this weekend and now my concealer is too light!!!
My dog won’t eat that chip I dropped, so now I have to pick it up.
When it takes 6 weeks for the new iphone to come in #firstworldproblems