Tuesday, September 23, 2008

JIST in Time for Rosh Hashanah

A High Holy Day Ritual Suggestion:
Welcome to my blog.

I too am a jewish incest survivor. It is nearly Rosh Hashanah and in my family tradition (like others) we visit the cemetary. Typically one leaves a stone to mark a visit to a loved one's grave. My ritual since my abuser (Uncle) died seven years ago has been to completely cover his flat grave stone in our family plot--I mean to completely cover his name and dates. I encourage others to use this ritual. I believe it is strongly in keeping with key tenets of Judaism.

We are told in Deuteronomy 25:17-19, "Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt--how, undeterred by fear of G-d, he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear. Therefore, when the Lord your G-d grants you safety from all your enemies around you...you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget."

We are obligated to remember but we are also obligated to blot out the names of Amalek and all his offspring. Individuals like my Uncle and others who molest children are descendants of Amalek.

Finally, in ancient Israel certain individuals were stoned to death for violating community standards. And later Kabbalists and others believed in weighting down graves with stones so the souls of evil individuals could not rise to terrorize again.

I went to the cemetary yesterday. It is almost Rosh Hashanah after all.

Feel free to share how you get through the holidays and describe the rituals you have created.

NechaBasha in Boston