Pink Elephant: "Something so large and obvious (like a pink elephant), but nobody says a word, like it doesn't exist, making the whole circumstance very awkward."
Start a local "Pink Elephant Club", to help support and improve our community in a progressive manner.
This article is made up of 5 parts:
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PART 1:Is it religion or insanity?
I know this might seem long, but I assure it's worth it. My intention in writing this is to give a voice to that "Pink Elephant" in the room. I want to draw attention to what is not being dealt with in the Syrian Jewish Community. I think the Image Magazine does more than it's fair share to show how perfect our community is. The Community does have some wonderful attributes from charity, family, bonds and feeling a part of. It's wonderful to be able to trace and know everyone's grandparents and so on. The problem is, what if you don't fit the mold? No one talks about the "Pink Elephant". So I am not writing to say everything that everybody has heard everyday for their entire life. I also want to be clear in stating that every community has issues and some deal with them better than others. Is it ok to sacrifice the minorities of the community to satisfy the majority? And where does Social Justice come in? Should people be silent while their brothers and sisters are hurting? Are we teaching our children to fight for what they believe in? I will do my best to start a dialogue and provoke people to think and question.
People should think about where Anti-Semitism comes from and how things we might do effect it. They should ask many questions that are not being asked. Should we question the edict against conversion ?
Should we put more sanctions on women? We have already pretty much banned most young women from going to colleges out of Brooklyn and Deal. Maybe we should make an edict against women going to school period (Elementary on). What if we are the cause of not finding a cure for cancer, because we are stopping women from being all they can be? Maybe we should just have them go to finishing schools taught by Syrian mothers, so they can learn to be the perfect housewife and mother.
Should we persecute Gays? Are some people drunk with power? Is it important to care about every single human being, no matter what? At what point does strictness become intolerable? At what point do people fight for what they really believe in?
When do rabbis that believe in social justice speak up? When do rabbis and leaders that disagree with the edict speak up? It looks like people continue to get bullied and just stay silent, because they don't want to cause issues. They don't realize as they have stayed silent through the years, the "Right wing" has been pushing through their agenda. They have no qualms standing up for what they believe in and shoving it down people's throats!
Should we allow rabbis to bash and ignore other rabbis, because they have different opinions? Some rabbis won't even perform a wedding with another rabbi. It feels like the rabbinate has become like Congress. Nothing gets done, they get paid and people continue suffering!
Why don't community leaders make the change? As long as it doesn't affect me directly, then why should I get involved and tell people what I believe in?
Part 2:Leaders with Bad Judgement and Chillul Hashem (Desecrating the name of God)
Please read the comments below made by a few community members (Rabbi Abadie and Jakie Kassin) in the NYTimes and my responses. The article is speaking about the Edict in the Syrian Jewish community not accepting converts.
Article: "Abadie and Kassin agree that the vast majority of SY youth abide by the strictures of the Edict. “Ninety-nine percent accept it,” Kassin said. “When someone doesn’t, it’s painful, but it’s better to lose a kid here and there and save the community. Families get sick over it, sure, but that’s how it is.”
Where does this nonsense end?
We should have a voting system to allow every parent to have a say on issues pertaining to their children in Yeshiva day schools. Should parents not be allowed to vote or have a say in what their child is learning? Should they not have a say on a school's anti-bullying policies? When they pay $15,000 a child per year, I think they deserve more respect. These decisions should not be made solely by the people that have money or the rabbi. Public schools might become the next option for some.
People think they are doing what God wants, but are destroying people's lives. When people say certain words to justify treating others in a reprehensible manner, such as "in the name of God" or "allahu akbar", they are perverting what God is all about. It is blasphemy to use Gods name for the reason why one is justified to destroy lives, break families apart and deny children the right to a Jewish education! Who gives anyone the right to think they belong and the next one doesn't?
Well the community decided at some point that we should ignore the issue, as if it doesn't exist. Some rabbis speak about it from the "bully pulpit" as a huge sin and should be eradicated. I have never heard of a speech to tell people to be tolerant and loving to all, including the gays. I have never heard them say that it is not up for us to judge others. I have never heard a rabbi speak about bullying and that we have to work to eradicate that.
Part 4:Conversation with a friend
Friend: I can say I agree with almost everything the blog is stating, but i do have a more positive outlook. (Borrowing a line from your team) "It gets better".. The community is so large and is only getting bigger. Based on the size alone these edicts and intolerance will not be able to hold forever. There will be many different splits, synagogues and philosophies and people will pick what they feel is right for themselves. Some will go ignorant and others will open their mind.
My Response: But it hasn't gotten better at all.
Everyone I speak to says it is getting worse and worse.
I have been contacted by mothers in Brooklyn, NYC , Deal and other areas people left to. And you would not believe the stories and the horror scenes. Mothers are saying, they do not want their children to grow up in such a insular, bigoted, intimidating, bulldozing community.
The "Right Wing" has infiltrated every area of the community and nobody is standing up against it , nobody is fighting back. Their are very few moderate rabbis and they never speak up in fear of retaliation from the "Right Wing" bullies .. In 40 years, the Syrian Community is going to be like borough park. It is going to be the people that decided to get more religious and the outcasts!
The link for the excerpts I put above.
Please forgive any grammer or spelling above.