years ago, a long time friend came over. he was excited. he took my kitchen and announced, “he was gay.” he was shocked reaction. he queried as to “why was i not surprised?” i broke the news to him. over the years, i had been constantly asked by others whether he was gay. thus, his coming out was not shocking. i respect individual’s sexuality as a private and personal. his orientation had nothing to do with our friendship.
prior to his coming out, he had actively dated and had long-term relationships women. he perhaps wished to keep his sexuality secret to avoid family controversy. thus, he had felt necessary to practice deception to get along in life. the truth was held back.
a tv show host on “the view”, joy behar, controversially suggested this year that for thanksgiving that individuals should share both their sexual orientation and sexual beliefs should take the opportunity to “just come out!” tmz.com she has met with backlash over her comment.
her suggestion reminded me of perhaps the most “head spinning” “coming out” in history.
in the days of chanukah past, a newly elected member to the united states congress took the holiday to “come out” as a person of “jewish descent.”
at a chanukah celebration, this individual reported that family members “had been looking into their background in recent weeks and they discovered that some of their descendants were among a group of jews who were persecuted during the spanish inquisition.”
sephardic or spanish jews is a label to describe ones who lived in the iberian peninsula. sephardic jews have played a critical role in modern judaism’s history and theology. the community is known for one of the golden ages of judaism. this age eventually ended with the spanish inquisition in 1492.
as noted, this congress representative did not do the background family research. had they done so, this individual, perhaps, would have learned about how their descendants were persecuted for their beliefs and that they were expelled from countries and needed to find places to live.
equally as sad, since this “coming out” this individual has displayed no appreciation of chanukah’s meaning.
this individual does not appreciate that the holiday was both a war of independence as well as for religious freedom in the land currently known as israel. this individual further does not appreciate that the jewish people recaptured, and re-dedicated their temple in jerusalem on the holiday. yes. jerusalem.
welcome to the family, representative alexandria ocasio-cortez, d-n.y.?
yes. for chanukah, in memoriam, jewish people, who love jewish people and the state of israel, will forever have their head’s spinning like dreydel as to why she “came out.” the mere thought that she has taken her time, since this acknowledgement, to be one of the most anti-semitic and anti-israel politician in the united states is head shaking. foxnews.com her actions, so mind boggling, that even maimonedes, the greatest sephardic scholar, and author of “the guide for the perplexed,” would not be able to rationally explain her.
with aoc’s future affinity towards her people bright as a candle-less menorah, we can only hope and she will attend another chanukah event and learn to appreciate her people’s history and connection to the land of israel. perhaps, she can be enlightened, not by the candles, but by the holiday song “mi yimalel” or “who can retell.”
in english. the lyrics go
“who can retell the things that befell us,
who can count them?
in every age, a hero or sage
came to our aid.
in days of yore in israel’s ancient land
brave maccabeus led the faithful band
but now all israel must as one arise
redeem itself through deed and sacrifice” myjewishlearning.com
until such a great momentous event, instead of a dreydel, which has four sides for the hebrew letters:
ש ה ג נ
i will be using a three sided top, with the letters
a o c
my top, unfortunately, leaves my head spinning 365/24/7.
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