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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Synagoge-Should I go to the Retreat?

As I've said before, BL is Jewish and very active in her synagogue, and I'm Christian and ... searching. The synagogue she belongs to is CBST, the ONLY gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and others shul in NYC. I really haven't been around the shul since a few unpleasant things occurred at the retreat last spring. Sue and I had heard that The head rabbi was now marrying a Jew and a non Jew (her wording-which I was trying to change.) We had also had heard from a member of the board that she was allowing couples where one was not Jewish to be buried in their cemetery (BL had been be nagging me to sign my will, and this was one item that was missing.) We spoke to the rabbi and she told us that there was no way that she would allow us to be buried together in the CBST cemetery-BL could, but no space for a non-Jew. Then I asked her about continually calling members of other religions non-Jews. She gave me a spiel about how there were so few Jews (in the world yada yada...) and she felt it was a political statement and intended to keep doing it.

Actually, I've been spiritually away since the head rabbi refused to marry us because I, a post menopausal woman and unable to bear children, was not Jewish. Yesterday we went to an adult Bat Mitvah of a close friend. I was so uncomfortable I could barely sit still. I had to meditate on my discomfort which is something I have learned to do. I realized that I was comfortable being 'other', but being told that you are 'other' and unwelcome in so many different ways was just too uncomfortable. I noticed unkind acts, like the man next to me who took up three chairs, yet was rarely in them. I was looking for things that were wrong.

The CBST retreat is coming up. I want my BL to go because she will have a good time and be amongst her friends. Should I go and try to detach, read my books, enjoy nature, put down my fists and stop trying to change the unchangeable? Or should I just stay home-and BK will probable stay home too?


Barbara B. said...

Wow, that is a difficult situation -- and with my choice of spouses I've "been there, felt that" (at least to some degree)with the whole 'unwelcome' thing, so I empathize with you.

It is frustrating how s-l-o-w-l-y change comes with religious institutions, etc. and how difficult it is to find true inclusivity...

Perhaps I would go if I took great books & could relax and enjoy nature -- and not get too annoyed. :) Plus it seems like your being there would make a statement that you ARE still there (if that makes any sense!)

But I don't know, like I said, very difficult...

Counselor in Process said...

Thanks, Barb. I knew you'd understand and have good advice!

LutheranChik said...

My pastor's spouse is Buddhist. She's very much present in our parish -- comes to church every Sunday, is involved in church hospitality activities and all the informal counseling that comes with being a pastor's spouse -- but I always wonder about her sense of "otherness," especially during the Eucharist when she's often the only adult present who's not communing.