July 22nd, 2006

ewe

Mitigated annoyances

First annoying thing: there was a big Palestine / Lebanon demo in town today, so we had to move the service because the Great Synagogue is too much of a visible target. I don't know who made that decision, whether the police or the community security people, and I don't know how genuine the threat was. I am sure most people involved in the demo would be horrified to know that the Jewish community felt so threatened by it that we had to move, but I expect that a minority of the protesters would jump at the opportunity to do us actual harm rather than putting us to inconvenience. After all, "we" (or rather the Israeli army, but hey, all Jews look alike and it's all a huge conspiracy anyway, right?) are currently making people homeless by bombing them and then firing missiles at the refugees... *sigh* Had the demo happened a few years ago I would have been taking part, rather than scurrying away to the other side of town and hiding or removing anything that would mark me as Jewish.

The mitigation is that one of the Orthodox communities let us borrow a room in their building, which is rather less obtrusive than the Great Synagogue and therefore deemed to be safer. And they were terribly friendly and welcoming. It's heartwarming to see the different communities working together and behaving like adults rather than squabbling over trivial details of liturgy. Besides, the interior of their synagogue was rescued from Nazi Germany and brought to Sweden in pieces and rebuilt inside another building, which is kind of cool. I'm glad I got the opportunity to see it even if I wish it had been in happier circumstances.

I have also discovered that there is something more annoying than Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: a self-styled Kabbalah version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus... But I'm not spitting feathers because I discovered said unspeakably annoying propaganda in the course of spending a very pleasant shabbat afternoon with a friend from shul. I came out to her because it was relevant in the conversation we were having, and she asked my opinion of this idea that men and women are spiritually different and have complementary roles in Kabbalistic repair. Be impressed with how polite I was!
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