Facemask Addict

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It looks like face masks will be a thing of the past starting June 15.

For the past few weeks, we were allowed to walk outdoors without a mask, but still had to wear it indoors. I still wore it outdoors anyway. But in four days from now, we won’t have to wear them at all.

I don’t know what I’ll choose to do. There are some reasons why I want to keep a mask handy.

The first and most obvious reason is that, Corona or not, viruses still exist. And I find that the mask really does help in reducing the risk of contracting them. When they lifted the outdoors facemask law, many people got sick with whatever other virus was going around. My daughter caught it, too. But I didn’t, because I kept my mask on.

Second of all, even if there are no viruses going around, the mask can help a bit with the pollutants you’re inhaling throughout the day. From what I understand, people in China use the facemasks all year round because the air quality is so bad over there. Here in Israel, smog and sandstorms are a regular occurrence, and wearing a mask can definitely reduce your exposure to a bunch of shit, and prevent it from setting up camp in your airways.

Another reason is that although the mask can be uncomfortable sometimes, I LOVE keeping my face hidden. It’s not that I have an issue with how I look, but I love the mystery of it. I’m comfortable being in my own world. No one can read my expression. I can set my face however I feel, move my lips, let them smack or relax or pucker or part as they wish. I can mouth the lyrics to any song on my player and not feel self-conscious about it because no one can see it.

When I don’t wear my mask, I feel so weird and exposed. I guess I just got used to wearing it. That’s another reason. I can’t seem to be able to walk outside or talk to a person with a fully-exposed face. My fingers automatically move to the hem of my mask to pull it over my mouth and nose, and sometimes I forget it’s there.

I also love not having to remember to cover my mouth while yawning, or having to remember to cough and sneeze into my elbow. My mask got that covered. It’s wonderful!

I know that once June 15 comes around, everyone will be tossing their masks. And they might see me with the mask still firmly on my face and many of them being such I’m-a-typical-Israeli-and-all-up-in-everybody-else’s-business they’ll say something like “Don’t you read the news? You don’t have to wear that anymore!”

Would I feel weird being the only person on the streets or on the bus to wear a mask? Would I feel weirder NOT wearing it? I’m still a bit anthropophobic, and somehow, the mask provides me with a sense of safety, not just physically, but mentally as well. Giving it up won’t be easy, I’m sure.

Peace, love and wha-evah, I wear what I want!

Free Love

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I got to see the Pride online broadcast that the Jerusalem Open House posted. There was a segment where the camera crew went around interviewing some of the marchers and asked them why they decided to come to the Pride March in Jerusalem. There were some wonderful answers there, and I started to think what my answer would have been if I was there and was asked to explain my attendance. This is what I would have said:

“I think it’s important for me to recognize my privilege as a straight cis and support this community. They deserve to have the same rights and privileges that I have. And it’s important for this change to happen in a city like Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and if this change happens here, it will happen throughout the country.

“I also want to teach my daughter what it is to love and be tolerant. I want to teach her that it’s ok to be whoever she is, and she is deserving of love and respect no matter who she is. She is four years old and she already knows what trans is and what non-binary is, and that it’s perfectly ok for anyone to be who they are. I want her to know that her parents love her and will love her no matter who she is. This is what unconditional love is and this is the kind of love that I can see here today, in this march, within the community – everyone is accepted and loved regardless of who they are or what they look like. This is the kind of love I want to see in this city and this country. Ahavat chinam.”

But I wasn’t there and I didn’t get to say that. And that sucks. I wish I didn’t feel so old and I wish I had more friends who are willing and eager to join me for such events. I’ve found myself alone in so much of my social life – concerts, fundraisers, parties, protests, and many times on Pride as well. It was ok when I was young and single. But I’m older today and I feel that need for a friend – at least one – to be with me on such events. I hope that next year (which marks 20 years to the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance) I can make it to the march and that I’ll have some friends who can join me. I want to make the above statement and stand proudly as an ally for the community, for equal rights and for future generations.

Peace, love and Gayrusalem

Proud to Be Human

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Jerusalem Pride is today. As always, I love this time of year when the city takes on color and vibrancy.

The flags in front of our office on Hillel Street

The municipality usually hangs the rainbow flags along the route of the march way ahead of time. So all week this week, I’ve been looking forward to see all the pride flags during my bus rides. But this year, they only started hanging them up yesterday. On my way home yesterday, I saw the truck with all the pride flags going from street light to street light, hanging the flags on the poles. This morning, all flags were up, and my bus ride was a wonderful one, as I admired my multicolored city.

An interesting point about the location of the flags: On one of the previous years, the religious community got pissed that the municipality decided to hang a flag right next to Heichal Shlomo – one of the largest synagogues in Jerusalem. Fine, whatever. They took it down. This year, I noticed there were no flags next to it again (there might have been some on the opposite side of the street, but my view from my seat on the bus was blocked) but there WERE flags next to that Christian monastery place thingy on the corner of Azza street. I’m not sure what that place is, but there is a cross on top and I constantly see nuns going in and out of it, so yeah. Another religious place of worship, but different views on what they should be angry about. Seriously, flags?! Is that really the best you can come up with to lose your shit over?

I try to rationalize it and I can’t. Who was that person who said “Don’t try to make sense out of nonsense”?

Some of the so-called “moderate” religious Jews say “You can be gay if you want to, but do it privately. We don’t want to see it.” I say to these idiots “You can be a disgusting fucking homophobe if you want to, but do it privately. Don’t go out rioting in the streets and stabbing people who only want to live their lives.”

There are so many situations that can be avoided by simply looking the other way. You don’t want to see gay people, the good Lord gave you ocular muscles that can move your eyes away from that “abomination”. You don’t want to see a flag hanging wherever the fuck, once again, turn away. You don’t want to see women nursing their babies, look at your feet. You don’t want to see the faces of women on ads and billboards, turn the fuck away. You have no problem looking at the ceiling or at the walls when you talk to me, so why is it so hard for you to go by a billboard without spraypainting in black the face of the woman on it?

Check out this disgusting thing. Today, I saw a commercial van with an ad for lice medication. It had a picture of a little girl scratching her head and another picture of that same girl just standing there smiling… I assume she’s smiling in that other picture but couldn’t really tell because her face was spraypainted black. As well as the one where she’s scratching her head. A LITTLE GIRL! What message are you trying to send here? Modesty, I can understand. You’re a straight-up pervert and don’t want to see a woman’s face because it might give you a boner? Fine, whatever, look away. But a little girl? Does seeing the face of a little girl give you a boner too? You don’t need to look away or spraypaint it. What you need is castration and the electric chair. You’re a fucking pedophile!!!

I went on a little bit on a tangent here, so let me get back to the topic of gay pride.

There are these people who are against it and don’t understand why the LGBTQ community needs gay pride when there isn’t a straight pride. I saw a meme the other day that explains it perfectly: “Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.”

And Jerusalem Pride is exactly that. Pride in Jerusalem is actually called the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance. It’s more of a demonstration than a parade. There are no floats. There are no men in speedos. There are no topless women. This is a protest to demand equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

And when you think about it, why does this community need to demand equal rights? Are they hurting anyone by getting married? Are they killing and torturing people by having a family?

To all homophobes who can’t fathom a society where everyone are treated like human beings, imagine this hypothetical scenario: The Bible says that people with black hair are an abomination. The religious community starts excommunicating people with black hair. Lawmakers take away black-haired people’s rights. Black-haired people lose their jobs, their family, and their friends and finally take their own lives as a result. Then, black-haired people get pissed for being discriminated against everywhere they turn, and decide to swarm the streets to demand that people stop persecuting them and start seeing them as human beings. They didn’t choose to have black hair. They were born with black hair and they want to be proud of it and come out of the hair salon where they dye their hair to hide who they really are.

Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? Same goes for LGBTQ. They’re human beings struggling to have human rights. Gay Pride is quite simply Human Pride. You can’t discriminate against them for loving who they want to love anymore than you can discriminate against me for loving the color purple. “No! The color purple is an abomination! You should be stoned!” Well, you should get a brain.

Gay Pride in Jerusalem is still risky business. The security personal and authorities are on overdrive. Especially after all the riots that took place in recent weeks all over the country, the police are on high alert. Two cops even stopped by our office yesterday requesting us to keep the door to the roof open so that they can set up a lookout spot up there today. I really hope that nothing bad happens. I hope no one of the marchers gets hurt. We can’t have a repeat of the march in 2015 where an innocent 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death.

I love that one Orthodox Jewish guy who never misses Jerusalem Pride. He’s there every year. He stands on the sidelines of the march and holds up a sign with the colors of the flag and the line “Love Thy Neighbor” in Hebrew printed on it. We need more people like him.

As for me, I can’t go to the march this year. Last time I went was in 2019 and I had no friends with me. I went that year because I planned to write a zine about activism in Jerusalem, and Pride was a big part of it. But I left the march before it ended because I was tired, had a headache and started feeling a bit anthropophobic. It happens to me when I’m in a crowd full of people squished together. If I had some friends with me, it would have taken my mind off the crowd around me and I could have enjoyed it much more. So this year, since no one is coming with me, I decided to just not go, and maybe watch part of the online broadcast that the Jerusalem Open House is planning to have following the march.

I still love this time of the year. I’m so fucking proud of the LGBTQ community and all those who support the movement for equal rights. You’re all the embodiment of love, tolerance and beauty in the face of so much hate, ignorance and darkness. Have fun at Pride and please be safe.

Peace, love and did anyone say democracy?

Hail Order!

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When I was little, my mom never yelled at me to clean my room. I was already so clean and organized that my kindergarten teacher told my mom she should take me to counseling or something because I never get my apron dirty when I fingerpaint. That’s not what a normal kid should be like. But whatever. That’s me. Neat and tidy. And I still am today.

Judging by the responses I get from family and friends, I think people separate into two groups – the organized and the disordered. So those who, like me, love organizing shit, they say “Oh my God! ME TOO!” and those who are disorganized by nature say “Do you want to come and organize my house/office for me?”

But sometimes I wonder if my order bug (read: dybbuk) is a bad thing. I mean, when the possession comes, I organize the shit out of my surroundings. But am I organizing the right things?

This past couple of weeks, my coworker was away so I had the office all to myself. I’m just coming out of a week-long order-bug-induced binge at the office. Looking at all the things I organized versus the things I didn’t, I saw just how miserable my order demon is at prioritizing.

First, I organized my three drawers and the area around my computer. I think it all started with a straying paper clip or something. I said, I won’t touch my coworker’s desk and let her organize it as she wants when she comes back. But for those of you who are like me know that this shit doesn’t work. So I went ahead and organized her drawers and her entire desk.

The order dybbuk went on for a good few days by the end of which I overhauled the shit out of the office and organized close to 11 years worth of messy drawers with everything you can imagine – 2000 different kinds of network cables, piles of electronic equipment, all variations of office supplies (like 5 pairs of scissors, 4 staplers, 4 hole punchers, etc.), dividers, plastic jackets of all sizes and colors, toners (I bet some of them are empty but they still hang around here for some reason), an enormous pile of oldass invoices, the Lost & Found box, and a bunch more shit. I found things I thought were lost forever and also things I didn’t even know existed. They were probably there before I joined the team and that was 10 years ago, a mere couple of months after this place opened for business. Now that I dug up artifacts from the JBC paleolithic era and overhauled the entire front desk, you can actually see a desk now!

But all of that is not critical. What really needs to be organized is the endless collection of files and folders we have hanging around. We use about 30% of them, and all the rest just sit there disintegrating into whatever administrative afterlife office files go to after they die.

I hope that my order demon will join forces with the other ones I sometimes get possessed by, like the cleaning demon, the perfectionism demon and the prioritizing demon, and I’ll do a complete overhaul of our files and folders and respective shelves. And I also hope that this alliance will happen before another 10 years have gone by, or – keeping by the demonic metaphor – this office will not need an overhaul but an exorcism.

Either way, I LOVE organizing. Organizing shit makes time fly by. Really! Last week, it was 10 a.m. when I started organizing. Five minutes later, the clock read 12:55. This is the same Twilight Zone effect that happens when I make zines. Speaking of which, I can’t fucking wait for International Zine Month 2021 in July! Fuck yeah!!

Peace, love and all hail mighty tidy!

From Badass to Fatass

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Things are getting slightly better since the last time I wrote here. My spirits are rising again and I started to see the sense in my everyday life and activities.

I started exercising again. That’s always a good thing. Especially since the whole Covid crisis taught me to sit on my ass and do nothing but gain weight. We all gained weight this past year and a half. I got used to being scary skinny my whole life, so when I started to see a little belly protruding from my midsection, it freaked me out.

“What is that? How did that get there?”

And at some point last week, I was lying on my side with my arm along my hips and I felt like a beached whale. Enormous and lazy.

Now, I know most of my friends would say something like “Dude, you need to get your vision checked because if you think you’ve gained weight, we’re all rolling mountains of fat.” And they might be right. I don’t really think I’m fat, and that belly might just be a leftover from my pregnancy four and a half years ago, and it might never go away again no matter how many crunches I do. But I still miss my old nonexistent belly with the washboard abs and the belly ring. My belly used to be my favorite part of my body. But then came the pregnancy to demolish it. My hip tattoo discolored and stretched out of shape. My belly ring came off as the bump grew. And though I bounced back within a few hours from the birth, I never regained the belly that constantly curved inward. So on I go with the crunches.

Another thing that I hope my regular workout can fix is my posture. My family always called me a “question mark” because of my awful posture. I tried to fix it several times with chiropractic treatments and exercises, and it worked for some time. But then, I broke my elbow and the whole upper part of my body suffered from it. And then, when my daughter was born came the posture decimation that is breastfeeding. So now, I decided to find a workout to strengthen my arms and shoulder muscles in hopes to correct my slouching. Since I have noodles where my arms should be, that’s a feat if there ever was one.

Back to the weight issue, junk food goes hand in hand with sitting on one’s ass as demonstrated by our regular evenings. After my daughter is off to bed, my husband and I like to watch TV. But we’re both old farts so our TV time turns into a constant fight against the dropping eyelids and the head that rolls off our shoulders. The only thing that keeps us alert is food. We grab a bag of chips or a bucket of ice cream and we’re set. But as I said, the lady in the mirror appears to be growing in size and I don’t like it one bit. So I decided to cut out junk food from my diet. I get my husband to prepare a plate of fresh fruits or veggies and grab that instead of cookies and cream for our TV snack.

Of course, that does not mean I will never eat ice cream again. If this is what I have to resort to, I do believe my life is over. But reducing my sugar and trans fat intake, even a little, is always a healthy choice. I’m not looking to lose more than one or two kilos, so I think I’m fine.

My mom told me to forget about sculpting my body and just exercise and eat healthy to stay healthy. And she’s absolutely right. But if I do manage to sculpt my body in the process, it will be an awesome added bonus.

Peace, love and glutes

Pre-Shit

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Here’s our Israeli blogger, and now she’s finally gonna write about the shitshow that is the Middle East.

Well, no. I’m not. I’m done with this. I have no will or energy to say anything about it because I’m still a Jew. And whatever I say, people still think it’s cool to hate Jews, even if they disguise it as hating Zionism. So enough of that. I’ll just say this one thing and go on with my day:

Are you a stinking Nazi? Do you hate Jews? Well, have I got a deal for you. It’s a cute and affordable little thing called FUCK OFF MY BLOG! You will hate it too. Get the FUCK OFF MY BLOG now! Ass-slamming door sold separately.

There.

Now it just seems to me like it’s crisis after crisis. My daughter stopped asking when are we going to the beach already because once Corona ended, she got sick. And once she got well, I got a cancer scare. And once that was done, above mentioned shitshow started. So she knows, in the back of her mind, that once said shitshow ends, some other crisis will begin and we will never go to the beach again.

On the last holiday, which my daughter fondly calls the Holiday of Water, we had a pool for the kids at my mother-in-law’s house. My kid loved it so much, she wants me to tell her aunt and her grandmother that we should have a pool every single day. So she gave up on going to the beach when she realized we can bring the beach to us, sort of. The pool is the next best thing, even if there are no sand castles.

Meanwhile, it seems to me like I keep trying to get back to the way things were and it’s just not working. I’m old and tired and definitely nowhere near as resilient as my daughter. After I broke my elbow, I tried to get back to playing guitar. After pregnancy and birth, I tried to get back to exercising and making zines. After Corona, I tried (and am still trying) to find the right time to get back to pre-Corona life. It’s like, if things around me are not normal enough, I can’t function the way I used to. It all affects me, and it becomes all or nothing. If I still can’t travel, can’t go to live concerts, don’t feel safe enough to go to marches and demonstrations, why should I bother exercising or going to the doctor or cooking healthy elaborate meals or making a zine? These things are not related at all but like I said, to me, it’s all or nothing.

If shit is totally out of balance, I can’t focus and I have zero inspiration to do anything. I feel like if I lose my center of balance, in my Libra mind, whatever I try to do will fail miserably. Like, when I was pregnant, I was out of balance in my mind as well as in my body. I lost my balance literally. Every time I stood up I felt like I was falling over. So even when I tried to make a zine, it came out so fucking mediocre, sounded bland and looked all wrong. It’s like if most pregnant women get food swings and random cravings, I had the exact opposite of that. I had no cravings, everything looked like shit, nothing felt right, I forgot the most basic things, and the only thing I wanted to do was sit on the couch, eat ice cream and fall asleep while watching some mindless show. It’s like the only thing I knew I could do without fucking it up completely.

So now that the entire world looks like it lost its center of balance and is falling over into a monstrous gaping void, how in the fuck do you expect me to function? My life is a series of crises, one after the fucking other. The only balance I manage to get is a balanced diet of absolute shit. How in the hell does one go back to the time of “before all that shit” when the time of “before all that shit” was just another “all that shit”? How does one just give up on “before” and go “forward” instead when “forward” looks like an even bigger pile of “all that shit”?

I just don’t go anywhere. I sit my ass back on the couch, shovel ice cream and watch TV shows until I crash.

That’s my depressing word of the day.

Again, in my Libra mind, I try to find something positive in all this negativity in a vain attempt to reclaim some form of balance, so most of my depressing posts have “on a brighter note” included in them.

I guess, on a brighter note, my kid is handling the series of crises much better than we do. Maybe it’s because she’s a kid and everything looks like a game to her. I remember the same when I was a kid. I was seven-years-old during the Gulf War. Every time there was a siren, I jumped up and said “Yay! Let’s go to the sealed room and wear gas masks!” It was like every day was Purim. I guess that Corona-time was the same for my kid. On every lockdown she would say “Yay! Let’s stay up late and not go to gan and wear face masks when we go outside to the playground!” It was indeed Purim every day for her.

I still try to keep a positive mindset when I’m around her. Parenting her is the only thing I manage to not fuck up. She’s the only right thing going on in my life right now, and I’ll be damned if I fail miserably at that too. So I promise her that everything is all right and everything will be alright, while deep down I try to convince myself that it will eventually be alright.

Peace, love and tip the scales.

Women of Valor

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We never celebrated Mother’s Day in my family. In fact, I don’t ever recall it being celebrated in Israel at all.

Seeing all the Facebook posts of my overseas friends with their kids, celebrating Mother’s Day, it made me wonder how it is that we don’t celebrate it in Israel. Maybe it’s on a different date?

So I read up about it on Wikipedia and was stunned to find out that Yom Hamishpacha (Family Day) was supposed to be Mother’s Day in Israel but was renamed Family Day instead. Yom Hamishpacha is on the 30th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, that falls around January or February.

Kinda pissed me off. It sounds like those people who say “I’m not a feminist, I’m an equalist.” Or those who say “All lives matter” in a response to “Black lives matter”. Or those idiots who think we should have a straight pride parade in response to gay pride.

Why generalize? Why not make a day that is special just for mothers like the rest of the world?

At least, when it comes to Father’s Day, in Israel, that was also integrated into Family Day. So there is no difference between mother and father in that case. But it’s still stupid.

As part of my research about Mother’s Day in Israel, I stumbled upon an article about Chag Habanot (The Holiday of Girls). In the article, it says that this day is celebrated across Israel mostly by communities that originated from countries around the Middle East, such as Morocco, where my family is from.

Dudes, I have NEVER heard of this holiday! Why in the hell aren’t we celebrating it more prominently? With all I read about this holiday, it’s probably the most feminist holiday in all of Israel and all of Judaism.

This is what I found out so far:

  • The Holiday of Girls is celebrated on the first day of the month of Tevet, which falls in the week of Hanukkah, and on the darkest night of the year.
  • This holiday celebrates the miraculous power of women: their heroism, their wisdom and their sisterhood throughout the ages.
  • In the past, the first of every month was considered a special day for women, who would light a candle for the rebirth of the moon and keep the holiday as a Sabbath.
  • There is evidence in the scriptures about the cycles of the moon as related to the menstrual cycle of women, which explains the importance of the new month for women.
  • There is a link between this holiday and some prominent women in the scriptures. The first is Judith who lived during the time when the Romans tried to conquer Judea. Judith used her beauty and wisdom to seduce the general of the Roman army, boozed him up and beheaded him, thus saving the Jews and all of Judea. That happened on the eve of the first month of Tevet.
  • Another prominent woman was the Hasmonean sister. During the Greek empire, it was decreed that every newlywed Jewish women would be raped by a bishop on her wedding night. The Hasmonean sister refused the decree. On her wedding night, she went to the king along with her brothers who snuck into the king’s room and killed him. This started the Maccabees’ rebellion against the Greeks.
  • The first of the month of Tevet was also the day when Esther was brought to King Ahasuerus to be crowned as queen. Esther is my personal favorite Jewish heroine. She’s the one who saved the Jews from Haman who wanted to exterminate them. I wish we had an Esther when Hitler was around. She would have given him hell.

There are some more anecdotes and stories of different customs of this holiday within Middle Eastern communities. The first day of the month of Tevet, which falls on the sixth or seventh candle of Hanukkah, is the Holiday of Girls. I wish I could celebrate that holiday in my family. Maybe next Hanukkah, we’ll do something special for my daughter, or something special for my mom, or maybe I’ll do something special for myself. As there is no Mother’s Day in Israel per se, I want the Holiday of Girls to be the one we celebrate. Compared to Mother’s Day, Chag Habanot seems to be much more special, much more feminist and much more Jewish. I fucking LOVE it!

Peace, love and Shebrew forever!

The Worst C-Word of All

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I wrote the following entry earlier today. About half an hour later, the results came in, and I burst out crying. The update continues at the end of this post:

***

I wasn’t going to write about this but I don’t know what else I can do to get this shit out of me, so to speak.

So I’m just gonna go right out and say it. I might have the Big C. I went in for a routine mammography last week on Monday, that was May 3, and the doctor decided I need to have a biopsy. He saw something suspicious, I have yet to understand the word he used, something to do with calcium. I don’t know if he used the word “Calcium” because he didn’t want to say the other more frightening C-word. Right then and there, he administered the local anesthetic, and poked me a few hundred times with the biggest fucking needles known to humans. I felt nothing of course, aside from the fact that my entire body was shaking uncontrollably from the adrenaline.

They said I should get the results within 10 days, which according to my calculations is 4 days from now, but feels like a fucking eternity.

The prospect of my impending death is not lost on me. Like this shit goes through my mind non-stop, and the scenes are getting more and more grim and dark – me getting my results, me getting a bi-lateral mastectomy, me losing my hair, losing weight, losing any aspect of my femininity, losing my mind, me dying and leaving behind a four-year-old girl who will grow up without a mother and who will very likely not even remember her, and leaving behind a husband who will force himself to deal with it so he can take care of his daughter and may remarry as well, and leaving behind a mother and a father who will NEVER recover from losing their only child to this awful disease.

Another thing that really kills me is that everyone around me is celebrating one thing or another, birthdays mostly. Sometimes weddings. But there is also the endless stream of birth announcements from my cousins, which I could never stand, whether I have cancer or not. But now, with the maybe-end of my life, it’s impossible for me to hear about another birth. Like, these people are banging out baby after baby, while the only thing that is growing inside me is a fucking tumor… maybe.

I know nothing is certain until I get my results and my parents keep telling me to keep my spirits up and hope for the best. But high spirits and high hopes will help nothing if the results are positive. I’m 38. I knew that the day might come where I will have to deal with something like this but I never thought it will be so soon. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to leave my daughter. I want to see her grow up, and reach the many different milestones that are laid out on her way.

I keep going about my business – going to work, doing the laundry, eating, sleeping – and the whole time I’m wondering why do I even bother. None of it makes any sense. Compared with the enormity of this fear and darkness, nothing fucking matters. My heart is still beating. Why? Why is it beating? Where’s the sense in it?

Never in my life have I felt so desperate for the world to just explode. I have never felt so lost and so deep in this void of nothingness as I do now. My body betrayed me so many times already and I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Four days. Four fucking days.

***

So finally, I didn’t have to go on waiting those four extra days. What I thought might be cancer and the end of my life as I know it became just a scare. The results were negative. Everything is ok. I’m healthy and don’t need to do anything else but go on living my life and go back for a mammography once a year as I have been doing up to now. I remember the Covid scare I have a few months back and had all these images of what my life would look like if I came out positive and it was torture. But nothing like this. I have never experienced such a scare (and subsequently, such a relief) in my life. Thinking “I might have cancer” is the worst feeling in the world and I don’t wish this on my worst enemy.

So I just thought about it. I’ve had three C-scares in my life, all of which came out negative: Hep C scare, Covid scare, and the biggest and mightiest scare of all, Cancer.

So while my cousins can go on celebrating their weddings and babies and whatever other bullshit, I’ll celebrate the mere fact that I’m still alive and well. And THAT is the biggest gift of all. Best Mother’s Day EVER!

I still can’t believe it. These last few days, every time I thought about something I needed to do or something that was planned for later on, I kept adding “if I’m still alive at that time”. But I’m ok. I’m healthy as can be and thank the Goddess for that.

Peace, love and negativity is definitely a blessing!

Written in the Stars

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I don’t know whether or not I believe in astrology. In fact, one of my more religious cousins told me that Jews are above the Zodiac. But I like to read the horoscope and do a bit a research about my Zodiac sign to see if any of it does in fact apply to me.

I once read that Libras are very much into social justice and may be activists for marginalized groups. So that definitely applies to me. Recently, I made a few more discoveries via Google.

  • One of the most compatible signs with Libra is Leo. My husband is a Leo.
  • Apparently Libras are good in bed. I’d like to think so too. I also understand that Leos are one of the best ones in bed as well. I don’t usually elaborate too much about my sexual life on here but I will say that my husband made me feel things I never felt with any one of my former lovers. That should say enough about how awesome he is in bed.
  • They say I’m naturally pretty: “The planet Venus rules Libra. Venus is the sign of love, passion, and all things beautiful. Basically, Libras are so beautiful because beauty just naturally runs through their veins.” This is astrology. It’s got nothing to do with veins. And I don’t particularly find myself pretty.
  • I’m in trouble as the mother of a Scorpio because they say Scorpio is a Water sign, and “can present much drama in a Libra’s life, resulting in the scorpion [sic] becoming a fast enemy of a diplomatic and forgiving Libra.”
  • They are also dead wrong a lot of times: “Libras end up being gluttons for punishment because as long as someone supplies their love fix, they’ll take on a lot of collateral damage. Libras are infamous for flirting too much. Libras are also notorious for being wishy-washy, and they’re often accused of being fake as hell.” No, no and HEEEEELLLL NO. This is the veritable anti-thesis of who I am and what I stand for. I’m honest to a fault and that gets me in trouble sometimes, but I never fake because I just don’t know how to.
  • And sometimes they are dead on! “Libra adores the lonely life, and that’s mainly because they don’t like people. Being that they always do what they want without any consideration for others, they’ve come to know that it’s best to simply not try.” By the way, the fact that they say that Libras do what they want without any consideration for others should prove to you just how wrong they are when they say that we’re fake. Why would we pretend if we don’t give a shit?
  • They say we forgive easily, yet they also say we hold a grudge. Although it may seem confusing to you, it definitely applies to me. I do think I sometimes forgive too easily, while at the same time I am holding several grudges I’ve had for decades.
  • “They thrive on making things orderly and aesthetically pleasing.” Hell yes! I wrote about that several times. Order in my surroundings makes order in my mind. A well-organized and balanced environment is the definition of peace of mind for me.

I think I’ll just stick with the “balanced” aspects of my Zodiac sign because this is really the thing that defines me the most. A Libra is a scale and a balanced life is what we crave.

Peace, love and Libras kick your ass either way.

Pride Is Not a Sin

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For those who don’t know about it and have never been, the March of the Living brings people, mostly Jews, from around the world, to Poland to visit the various death camps, concentration camps and Jewish ghettos that operated during WWII. On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, the marchers march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, in contrast with the Death Marches that the victims of the Holocaust had to go on when they were taken from Birkenau to Auschwitz. A week later, the March of the Living goes to Israel in time for Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day for fallen soldiers) and Yom Haatzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).

In 2000, I went to the March of the Living. That was a few months before the onset of the second Intifada, so the March could still take place in relative safety. When we were in Israel, right before Yom Hazikaron, the guides told us to respect the day and not do anything that is inappropriate or offensive during this day of mourning.

On Yom Hazikaron, they let us tour downtown Jerusalem. It was my first time in the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and I just had to buy something from the souvenir shops. So I got a blue-and-white top hat decked out with a bunch of Stars of David. As we wore our Israel flags around our shoulders during Yom Hashoah, I decided to wear this Israel hat during Yom Hazikaron. The guides, however, went batshit crazy.

“What are you doing?! Have you no respect?! Have you no shame?! People are in mourning and you go and wear a top hat?!”

I didn’t see the problem with it then, and I still don’t see it now. Why do you think people are in mourning? They’re in mourning because they lost family members while safeguarding our homeland. Israel is the homeland, the flag is a symbol of pride, and this top hat was an expression of this pride. Is there any better way to commemorate our fallen soldiers and extending our gratitude to our living ones who put their lives on the line every single day than to show solidarity, pride and love for the Land of Israel, wearing it on our heads and around our shoulders, as they wear their helmets and their rifles?

I lost a family member to this conflict – my uncle. My own father got injured in the war of ’67. My cousins and my uncles were and are in uniform. Do you think I feel anything less than utter terror of what could happen? Do you honestly think I have anything less than immense respect for it?

The question is not why I’m wearing the colors of my flag. The question is why are you NOT? Are you not proud of our soldiers? Are you not proud of our Land? Yom Hazikaron is the perfect time to show that their sacrifices have not been in vain. That we have our land, that we can proudly wear the colors and the flag in complete safety without fear because our soldiers protect us – this is what these soldiers gave their lives for. And you think I should be ashamed? THAT, right there. THAT is the one feeling we should NOT be feeling on this day. Shame? No, I have absolutely no shame. I have only pure, unabated, raging pride. You should be ashamed of yourself for not feeling the same.

So they confiscated my hat and told me they will give it back to me on that evening, the eve of Yom Haatzmaut. They never did. I do believe they stole it. But whatever, fuck them. They can go on being ashamed if they think this is the correct feeling for this Memorial Day. They SHOULD be ashamed for not feeling proud.

Tonight is the eve of Yom Haatzmaut, and I feel proud on so many levels. Proud of the IDF, proud of my country, proud of my family, and proud of my heritage.

I am also proud that I can finally wish all Israelis – men, women and non-binary people – a happy Independence Day, with the help of Multi-Gender Hebrew!

Peace, love and 73 years in the making.