I always have pointed to myself, because that is how I have been able to remain responsible for my life and keep the power, except for being childless. I was a kid, damn it. I could not have put myself out of the house I grew up in, with all the long-term matters that could have turned out differently, like having a child. A theme that incidentally is stored in a ‘box on the shelf’. A box that, as I have promised myself, will only be taken off the shelf in a couple of years from now. It was meant to be this way. Yet, I would like to say to ’the beards’ of my youth: just live with that, because it wasn’t just a complex situation. There was no intention at all to act on what I needed, only on what the orthodox core thought it needed – silence and looking away, demonstrably recorded among other things in a letter to Child Protective Services.
I have come to know injustice thoroughly. And injustice has come to know me. I have always told injustice that it can screw itself and I have crushed it. With that, I have managed to smooth out almost everything into prosperity and happiness. If injustice still wants to dance with me, I will shape history even harder, until one day injustice will stand no chance against everyone. I’m done with injustice. It knows it better not show itself, unless what comes out of it is better than what I could have predicted. Unless what comes out of it is no longer delayed.
From injustice to contemporary synagogue sceneries: those seem so small to me these days. Also, some melodies can’t be separated from key figures in my family who are guilty of forms of coercion such as violence, restriction of freedom, sadism and narcissism. It’s like those melodies evoke a Pavlovian reaction in me.
What does really touch me positively with regard to the traditions and melodies is the fact that after centuries of struggles and the Second World War, we have been able to pass these on from one generation to the next. In other words, we’re still here. Whether the synagogue feeds my soul, it nevertheless creates a bond and is the reason why I still keep talking about ‘my people’.
There is a scale with on one side the community person and on the other side the individualist. People move somewhere on that scale. To me, contemporary synagogue sceneries can sometimes feel like a spiritual child’s play using hands and feet. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t violate universal children’s and human rights. And many women are no longer community servants. In fact, those times must be over, including the persistent communal aspects such as not knowing who you essentially really are and what can be attributed to your autonomous thinking and what to (transgenerational) brainwashing and habituation. Not daring to step out of your cage, even when it’s wide open. Not daring to make choices without justifying yourself to others. Not daring to set boundaries by, for example, saying ‘no’ more often. And my favorite: not doing the things you feel passionate about without asking permission from others to do it.
Side note: it will be the women who will make great progress when it comes to the biggest matters of the world in the next hundred years. Mark my words. There was once a Dina-Perla and she said… And a joke: there is nothing men can do that women cannot fix. More seriously, let’s not forget how many hidden women there still are, invisible women who are succumbing to the worst forms of coercion and harmful traditional practices. I want to zoom in on that with my work, because I will not be silent.
Most beautiful brains
Speaking of community people versus individuals, the great American philosopher Ken Wilber says that there is a difference between waking up and growing up (Wilber has defined three other categories, but those are not relevant here.) Waking up means growing spiritually, thus starting to live and mature by a higher consciousness. Growing up means to progress humanly, thus to get older. Waking up and growing up are not the same. Therefore, people often come very far in one and lag far behind in another. Fill in the blanks by yourself for what the relationship may be between these two categories and the community person versus the individual.
By the way, Ken Wilber is one of the most beautiful brains in human history, perhaps more than Albert Einstein, although Einstein belongs to ‘my people’. Wilber has invented a model that integrates all types of people, including tyrants, schizophrenics and terrorists to name a few horrible types. If we would set up our world according to his model, we would be OK as a human race and the dark parts would be ‘out canceled’.
Another fine brain is Gabor Maté, also ‘my people’. Thinkers like fellow competitor Jordan Peterson diminishes in comparison to Maté’s brain. Gabor Maté has devoted his entire life to matters of trauma, addiction and transformation. Another mastermind of an entirely different caliber is Hannah Gadsby, known for her comedy shows Nanette and Douglas. She is Australian, non-binary, a little autistic as she says and truly a genius. I would spontaneously become a lesbian for Hannah Gadsby, if it would work that way. There is no contemporary brain that I am so in love with as hers.
I have a thing for beautiful brains. It’s the sexiest thing anyone can own. It feels like coming home in a way I have never been able to with family, community or mainstream society. It always feels like I can breathe. Furthermore, it is always worthwhile, while many relationships and affairs of our time are not. These brains do not suck up life force, for example with dogmatic, judgmental and narrow views. On the contrary, they provide life force and inspire you to free yourself and fly to greater heights.
Last, a quick note on Dutch synagogue settings, particularly Bendigamos by Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira. As they say, I am rooting for him. I donated all my sepharim – Jewish books – and Jewish stuff that I don’t use anymore to Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira, because the intentions for Bendigamos are decent. In fact, I bet that he will succeed in getting a normal alternative for Jewish burials for his members. To be buried as a Jew in the Netherlands under contemporary conditions is pure madness. International Jewish communities do not have this model. It’s just wrong. I hope that Bendigamos as a club will not disappoint over the years and will not lose the fundament from which it started.