As pretty much all of you know, it’s been a really hard summer for our family, and a really shitty fall for our family and much of the APW team. After months of what feels like tragedy on tragedy, this week while my family was in the middle of a long overdue joy break at my friend Gina’s wedding, an anti-Semitic gunman opened fire during a Shabbat service in Pittsburgh, which quickly turned into the largest massacre of Jews on American soil. For our Jewish family, like basically every Jewish family in America, it was brutal and terrifying. It came on the heels of racist murders in a Kroger’s supermarket, and of course a spate of pipe bombs sent to Democratic leaders all over America. It was a truly, truly terrible week of news.
For our family, the murders in Pittsburgh made us unable to ignore what we’ve been observing for so man months: Anti-Semitism has been sharply rising in America since Trump’s campaign in 2016. It became terrifyingly real for most of us during Charlottesville, and then blossomed into full horrific view of the world this weekend. For many Jews, this has been made more terrifying by the rising anti-Semitism on the left, which is often played off as anti-Zionism, and somehow justified. (For reading on how to parse out legitimate criticism of Israel’s government’s policies from anti-Semitism, I recommend this article.) I wrote a lot about this on Instagram this week, and you can catch it in my story highlights here (or look for “on 🚫✡️” in the Highlights row of my profile.) For those looking for a deeper understanding of this issue (and damn, if we don’t need the left to have a deeper understanding of this issue), Jews For Racial and Economic Justice has a reasonably definitive, very nuanced forty-four-page booklet online called Understanding Antisemitism that I can’t recommend more highly. (Seriously, if you feel unversed in these issues, please read it.)
Meanwhile, I have been coping with so much pain by painstakingly making family Halloween costumes, around the Phoenix theme. (If ever I needed to rise from the ashes, it’s now.) And it paid off in full glory this week:
My tiny firebird, with her four layers of hand pleated, hand sewn tulle. (She banned all feathers from her costume, much to my dismay.)
My tiny dragon king, sometime Phoenix, with his hand-sewn double-sided sequined cape, lined with hand-dyed flame organza… not to mention a hand-painted mask with feathers.
And my handmade feather cape, with a crown made by Maddie. (We owe you feather cape and halo crown tutorials as soon as we can get the time… and are back in a studio.)
It was a joyful night, followed by an All Soul’s Day service, and Day of the Dead observations at both kids’ Spanish language–focused schools. But we really needed that one night blast of joy.
Wishing all of you who need it love, peace, and healing this weekend.
Trigger Warning: The following five links pertain to recent anti-Semitic violence.
Tablet just sent a bunch of their team to Pittsburg: Breaking Coverage of the Pittsburgh Shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue.
An overview of the rituals happening in the aftermath of the tragedy: How Centuries of Jewish Martyrdom Inform Ritual Burial Practices in Pittsburgh.
The eightieth anniversary of Kristallnacht is November 9th and 10th: The Echoes of Kristallnacht.
Now some happy things with Jareesa
Need to unplug? Try picking up one of these new books, all written by women.
Imagine your doorbell rings, and you answer it to find Oprah on your doorstep.
Simone Biles is a BADASS and just won her FOURTH all-around world championship. #BlackGirlMagic
Breast Cancer Awareness month just ended, and this chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho made a much-needed donation to women in their community—over one hundred wigs!
And finally, I think you should go for it… whatever it is 😊
P.S. #BabyPi says you need more giggles in your life.