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Sign the Petition Against Anti-Semitism at the Rally this Sunday in Casablanca

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Demonstrators-execute-fake-ultra-Orthodox-Jews-at-pro-Palestinian-protest-in-Morocco-430081

https://www.change.org/p/a-messieurs-les-ministres-de-la-justice-et-de-l-int%C3%A9rieur-marocains-pour-la-condamnation-des-appels-au-crime-contre-les-juifs-au-maroc?recruiter=24849165&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Yesterday in my city of Casablanca, thousands of demonstrators attended a rally that has gone viral, where people chanted for martyrdom, held guns to the backs of people dressed up as religious Orthodox Jews, who then proceeded to smash a model of the al-Aksa mosque before being pretend-stabbed and shot. I am not surprised by this but for the few Jews left in Morocco that I have run into, many are shaken by what they heard and saw, as there is no separation between apparently being a Jew and deserving to be executed. While most protests are shut down in Morocco, these sorts of displays are more than welcome. A petition has been set up at Change.org to ask the government to respond to the anti-semitism displayed at the rally.

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“We only lose only what we cling to.” – author unknown

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All scars are art, so my arms are then art history partly because my mother gave me my skin.

I hear myself saying, “Wear your skin with pride, even if you feel naked.”

Somewhere between thinking of romantic love and body shame, I walked past police barricades standing guard around my daughter’s Jewish school, only making me aware that we are targets.

“Even if the worst happens”, I try to reassure myself as I stare at the machine guns of the guards at the corner of school, “we will still be able to laugh after because even if You hate us, we can love ourselves.”

As a wise wo/man wrote: We only lose what we cling to.

We can lose people, we can lose life, we can lose everything but not love. There is infinite love and all rejection is an illusion and all hate, rightly or wrongly, an inversion of our love.

Love is racing through me at so many moments in the day…for some it’s driving in a fast car down the coast with music blaring, flying to earth from a plane like a bird, dancing while a little tipsy, charming a member of the same or opposite sex, doing something noble and courageous, fulfilling a duty, winning a challenge, falling in love, seeing a happy moment for a loved one on a holy day and a holiday. They might not notice but their chests are racing with love.

 

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Hag Sameach Happy Hanukkah from Casablanca!

My daughter was the queen of Kabalat Shabbat at school yesterday which meant we brought kosher doughnuts and drinks for her class to make the kiddush and brought a friend to sing to the class with her harp. Everyone afterwards lighting the large classroom hanukia.

I was so excited for her that in the cab ride to school beforehand with my arms full of doughnuts and gifts for the kids I thought: This must be what is feels like before a huge life event like a marriage or a wedding proposal when you hope all goes well and you are overwhelmed with excitement and joy.

I felt nervous and anxious and excited and giddy and thrilled all in one. As soon as I saw my daughter all was forgotten and it was just pure joy and silliness.

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Hag Sameach Happy Hanukkah from Casablanca!

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Working Woman of Casablanca

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Working Woman of Casablanca

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Yom Kippur in Casablanca

Yom Kippur has come to a close and my bed looks like a rabbi’s library hit it. There are books of Torah and Kabbalah and women’s prayer books and synagogue prayer books all over the place. I have a pile to finish and a finished pile with the book “How to Understand Israel in 60 days or less” that I finished in the first hour and was onto prayers and meditations

Today felt like a fish bone right in my throat. I should expect this if I have 25 hours to sit with myself without distraction. No food, no coffee, no CNN, no news, no phones, no politics, no internet, no filming.

Yom Kippur also makes me feel small but that is partly the point. It’s been a truth fest for the last 10 days and in the last 25 hours and that is tiring.  It’s not just that I feel spiritually small but physically weak. Maybe it has something to do with not eating for 25 hours but I also am realizing I am just weak and unhealthy but unaware of this due to daily distractions. I could barely hold up an old lady who was falling down at synagogue.

Another thing is that Yom Kippur feels like an intervention with all my addictions listed up in front of me to see during this day. All the silence announces the needs and then add to it forgiveness, the theme of the day which is such a terrifying thing to give to yourself or anyone else.

It’s really my first Yom Kippur in many ways. It’s the first time it has ever been so personal. It was Shiyara’s first time to stay with me and she pushed me to get to the synagogue early. “Come on mom we are going to be late and they are going to finish the prayers and leave the synagogue. Come on already.”  She was again like on Rosh Hashanah the only girl in the women’s section saying loudly “Amen” with the men. All the women looked at her with delight. Shiyara is not shy, she’s her own person already.

When the shofar blew this year standing in the doorway of the packed synagogue’s women’s section holding Shiyara I closed my eyes with my fingers and hid myself tearing up from the women around me with their white lace head covers that always remind me of where Catholic women have their roots, especially south Americans and the Spanish Catholics— the women’s section of a synagogue.

“I am trying g-d. I am sorry and I am really trying.” I say in the silence of my mind.

I brought with me a quote from Rabbi Schneerson to meditate on at synagogue. This is what stayed with me until the end of the day at synagogue and each time I run my eyes over the last sentence I start getting bitter little tears in my eyes. I want to be like the last line. It’s infinitely hopeful and painful to imagine on yourself and yet how do i get there? I don’t know. But I want to be there.

There is no human relationship until a relationship has broken down. As long as each fulfills the others’ expectations, there is only a contract. There are no people, only transactions.

Once trust is breached, a new depth enters: The depth of the person. If there is truly a relationship—if it is the person inside that matters—then there is a search for forgiveness, for return and for healing.

So it was that within forty days of entering into a contract with the One Above, the Children of Israel sinned. And the soul below and the One Above discovered they could not part from one another.

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Pink Lady In Casablanca

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Our thoughts form the world

I arrived home even though Shiyara really wanted us to stay in America. She loved New York.

I would love to live in New York again for a few months at a time but as I told Shiyara, we would still need to go home to Casablanca to at least pack our things.

We returned to our friends who just had their first baby and he is as beautiful as his mother. They confessed they would be going back to America within the year. I will be losing my best friend and it hasn’t let me sleep at all but as I watch MasterChef and drink tea I noticed some words of wisdom written on the paper attached to a string, “Our thoughts are forming the world.” This is what I said to myself an hour earlier as I tossed and turned trying to sleep thinking of my friend leaving.

We can’t control the outcome of most anything in life but we can control how we see the world and it changes everything. This is what I came back to Morocco to do. Finish all that I started and sit with the discomfort of learning what I need to learn, going through the difficulties, be patient so I can move on in due time from this stage of evolution literally and metaphorically. So for tonight I pray that all the things she and I want for our families come true and that no more rest is lost worrying over what may or might arrive because of course no matter how painful or abandoned we will feel, we can handle it.

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