I want to share some artwork I made this past January of Olan Sanctuary in @templeemanueldallas -- the room that I attended Shabbat services in with my family, every week, without fail, while growing up. Temple has been on my mind quite a bit given the circumstances. COVID-19 not only affects our school and work, but it takes a bite out of our faith. Temple has been closed for quite some time due to the outbreak, and while that was a wise decision, it still has had very profound impacts on the psychological security and upkeep of faith of the TEDallas community. It's difficult to hear that the doors of the safest place to your soul have been closed, because let's face it, our Temples are our homes. But, in that same line of thinking, our homes are our Temples. Jewish tradition tells us that every home is a house of G-d, a place of dwelling for Hashem. The homes of each and every one of us have always been our Olan Sanctuaries, and now is the time to embrace that. In Hebrew, the Temple built by King Solomon, "Beit HaMikdash", literally translates to "Holy House" or "House of Holy". From this, we can learn that each one of our houses is holy. Just as G-d commanded a Holy House be built for G-d to dwell in, so too does G-d continue to command us to build that house of faith within our own homes. Every Jewish house is a Temple, a Shul, a Beit HaElohim -- House of G-d. When I reflect on the closure of our beautiful synagogues, churches, mosques, etc., I also remember that each of us has the ability to build a connection to our inner spirit, to G-d, and/or to the people around us within our own homes. COVID-19 has been a very traumatic thing to have happened, and thus now is the time we must cultivate faithful connections within ourselves and in our places of dwelling. I extend love, thoughts, prayers and positive energy to anyone and everyone who needs it. May this week be kind to you. Keep the faith.
When I feel I am struggling, I often turn to my notebook. So, right now, I'm journaling & I'm sending my love to each and every one of you. On the left is my own prayer that I wrote for us all, and on the right is the Hebrew prayer for healing having to do with the receiving of the Torah. I am internalizing the words, "protect and deliver (them) from all trouble and distress, and from all affliction and illness" — I pray that this is true for you and your families. May we come together during this time, no matter our faith. May we practice safety and kindness.
For my college course @eng353perfect_union at @austincollege, we are currently learning about labor reform through the novel The Silent Partner by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. We were assigned to watch the @pbs documentary "Triangle Fire", about the tragic fire that occurred in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory of New York City and the deaths of the women laborers inside of the factory -- all because of the refusal of the factory's owners to unionize. While watching the documentary, I noticed that many of the women protesting the labor issues held signs in Hebrew with quotes from the Torah (the "Old Testament"). I did a little research, and with some help from the Jewish Women's Archive, I learned that Jewish women played a key role in labor reform -- more so than almost any other demographic. Jewish women drew on the Jewish concepts of social justice (or Tikkun Olam, "repairing the world") in order to fight for what was right. The Jewish women of NYC gave direction and shape to labor reform. Jewish mass immigration was occurring around the same time that these labor issues were being brought forth, and many Jewish immigrants worked in the factories in the city. The Jewish women found difficulties in joining the labor reform movements, as many men walled them out on the basis of gender. Because of this, Jewish women began to look for assistance from other women in various classes. This way of organizing labor ended up being a significant method of breaking down class barriers between Jewish women and others. Once a strong camaraderie had been established and strikes began to take place, Jewish women began to convince the other strikers that legislation would be the saving grace. Jewish women trade unionists stepped in to teach the rest of the labor movement that labor laws were needed. Eventually, once unions were established, Jewish women were marginalized and pushed out of the very organizations which they helped lay the bricks for. Such is the plight of the Jewish woman in America. I created this multimedia art piece, drawing inspiration from hcchristian.wordpress.com for the silhouette, and for the Hebrew words, I chose a protest sign from the documentary.