He gripped his little brother’s hand, his stomach churning with fear and embarrassment, his fingers slick with his own sweat. He didn’t dare look at him; the lids of his eyes weighed down by shame and grief, for he knew what was yet to come.
The stars in the sky shone brightly and clearly and I could point out Orion and the Big Dipper to my children on our evening walk. The neighborhood was cast in darkness and we picked our way past downed trees and broken branches by the light of the stars and our flashlights.
“We are tired and we are hurting.” This heartrending statement is one I heard over and over again from our siblings of color; in the media, on the internet and in real life, as I find myself listening and reading and sitting with the force of this reality today.
There’s a Dutch saying ‘er op of er onder!’, which translates literally as ‘on top of it or underneath’, meaning that we will either succeed gloriously or fail spectacularly but we need to give it everything we’ve got because the time is now.
The cruelty and mystery of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:1 cannot be understated. Embedded among cultic taboos circumscribing forbidden intimate relations in Parashat Acharei Mot, and juxtaposed with verses exhorting ethical conduct in K’doshim, stands the prohibition against ‘offering up offspring to Molekh’.