It’s a funny thing about the high holidays
Going to services
Always leaves me feeling cleansed
I think of it as a bit Jewish, gay alanon meeting
The synagogue I go to
Congregation Beth simchat torah
The largest gay synagogue –maybe in the world
Had been the subject of controversy recently
The associate rabbi
An soft-spoken attractive woman named
Had been in the center of something of a war
You see Ayella is a conservative rabbi
And although the services of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
Feel conservative, they are considered to be reformed
Well the powers-that-be of Conservative Judaism threatened to revoked
Ayellas rabbinical license if she wouldn’t leave that QUEER synagogue
But she stayed and fought
And the outcry from Conservatives and Non
From Gay and straight in her defense was so great
That the conservative higher ups relented
And she stays
But honey I was shocked
I knew the Chasidim would not accept a gay synagogue
I knew the Orthodox would not
But the Conservatives?
They don’t even keep kosher?
The shul I grew up going to was Orthodox. The men and women sat separate.
I never saw a woman step up the bema unless it was for a fundraiser or to announce
That cookies were being served
I tried going to reformed Shuls
But I missed the traditions of the orthodox
When I found Congregation Beth Simchat Torah I thought they were conservative
A step down in extreme from the orthodox but more traditional then the reformed
I guess the very fact that they are gay makes them reformed
I have always found the High Holiday services to be a lesson in human goodness.
African Americans sit in shul next to me, something I have rarely seen.
Straight people flock to the services as much as gays.
Lesbians hold their babies. Gay men hold their babies.
Men hold each other. Women hold each other. Couples bring their moms and grand moms
Who seem happy and proud to be there.
To find out the conservative movement had attempted to revoke this lovely woman’s license
Was a shock but then they also issued a statement saying they would not perform same sex wedding ceremonies.
I think the whole point for gays joining a conservative shul was to escape that kind of treatment.
I can only hope that losing their gay members which I would imagine are many will force the conservative movement to lighten up.
In the meanwhile I am reminded, yet again, that there is still so much prejudice in the air.
Thank god I had a place to go to worship, to remember, to cleanse and to feel accepted.
All of which are things that as a gay American I feel less and less in this country, in this time.
La Shanah tovah
I wish you all peace, love, harmony and equality.