The first thing that Abby Stein wants the world to know is that she did not leave her ultra-Orthodox community solely to become a woman. Since she came out this past August, Stein has been garnering attention as the transgender ex-Hasid. Although she acknowledges that the two events in her life are “intertwined,” she says her initial leave taking from her Hasidic sect “had to do with beliefs. I was done with Judaism, and for over a year, I had nothing to do with it.”
Parshat Vayetsei, this week’s Torah portion, provides vivid vignettes of pastoral patriarchy. People congregate around the village well, sharing stories while watering their flocks. Jacob arrives in Haran, the land of his mother, and heads directly to the well. This is where he famously meets his cousin Rachel, and is smitten.
Playing a supporting role in a major human rights advocacy campaign is both gratifying and humbling. As we mark Transgender Awareness Week, I applaud the recent commitment that my fellow 1.5 million Reform Jews have made to the full equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions by overwhelmingly supporting a a groundbreaking movement-wide resolution on the rights of transgender and gender non-confirming people. For me, it began with one person, a girl named Hannah.
Who knew Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev moonlighted as a shadchan?
In a recent Facebook post, the Likud MK announced that she is on the hunt for an eligible bachelor for her beloved advisor, Liron. On the occasion of Liron’s 34th birthday, Regev writes, she is turning to Facebook, a place she heard has “married” many people. “With the help of God, on her next birthday perhaps in her Facebook photo she will be her wearing white.”
“You cannot say Kaddish.” Had those words had been said with sympathy, or at least respect for my loss, I wouldn’t be writing this.