Posted by Ilana Angel
Tall, short, fat, thin, smart, simple, gay or straight, I love my son. He is the single most important thing in my life and there is nothing I would not do for him, or anything he could do that would make me not love him. His joy is my joy and his pain is my own. I cannot imagine what I would do if my child was struggling so hard with life that suicide was the answer.
There have been a series of teen suicides over the past few weeks by children who were gay, and being bullied. Bullying is heartbreaking and simply unacceptable, on any level, from anyone. The kids who bullied these young children, along with their parents, have blood on their hands. They killed these children and should be held accountable.
To every child that is suffering and in pain, you are not alone. You can get help and I promise you it will get better. Get help. You can call The Trevor Project, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the country, toll free. They can be reached at 866-4-U-TREVOR. That’s 866-488-7386. You can learn about this invaluable organization at The Trevor Project
Bullies are not just children. Kids learn from their parents. If parents condone this behavior it will never stop. The senseless deaths of these children must be a wake up call to this country. We must make this a country where everyone is treated equal, afforded the same rights, are allowed to marry, and can serve in the military.
My heart is broken for these young men and their families. I hope their passing will lead to change. Asher Brown and Seth Walsh were 13 years old. Billy Lucas was 15, Tyler Clementi, 18 and Raymond Chase, 19. Do the people who are blocking gay marriage, and supporting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, not realize their actions are directly related to the deaths of these children?
You are putting a sign on the back of gay Americans saying, “kick me.” You are saying they are not equal, do not need to be treated the same, and are therefore setting them up for failure. How can these children fight back and take pride in who they are, when the government is telling them they are nothing? It’s time for these children to be given hope.
If my son where to bully another child there would be consequences. If my son witnessed another child being bullied and did not try to help that child, there would be consequences. If my son were gay, I would love him, embrace him, and kick the ass of anyone who felt they could make him feel bad about who he is and the way God created him.
It is heartbreaking to me that these children looked to death as an escape from their torment. No child should ever take his or her own life, and no parent should ever have to bury a child. There is a great article about the five things you need to know about gay teen suicide at:
We must remember these children, learn from them, and unite as a nation to help others who are feeling their pain. God would not want us to judge each other this way. This is America and we are all equal. Tall, short, fat, thin, smart, simple, gay or straight, we are all the same. Why must a child die this way? It is a sad state of affairs when death appears to be the only option.
To the families of these young men, I am sorry for your loss, will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and hope your children have found peace. To Asher, Raymond, Tyler, Billy and Seth, I know you are safe, laughing and free. Know that we love you and your passing will inspire change, and give other children who are in pain the strength to keep the faith.
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
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9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (299)
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October 4, 2010 | 11:58 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
When I think about people who have no clue, I often think of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. She said that as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, which was posted on the Internet and I think should be shared. It was posted back in 2002, but it was just brought to my attention so I’m going to share it today because it’s that good.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian.)
To Mr. Kauffman, Bravo.
To Dr. Laura, shut up already.
Now that she had decided to leave her radio show, will Dr. Laura finally shut up? I’m not sure so I’m still going to keep the faith.
October 4, 2010 | 9:29 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
My last boyfriend was a convicted felon. He served time for drug possession. When we met he had been out of prison and sober for years. We didn’t break up because he was a felon, but rather because he was a liar and douchelord. I was convinced for a long time losing him was a catastrophic loss, but in the end it was a blessing.
He is not the only convicted felon I’ve dated. I have actually gone out with three men who served time, and I met all three on JDate. The other two men were convicted of white color crimes that involved money. All educated, Jewish, handsome men, who for whatever reason, got off the path of the straight and narrow. Other than prison, they had me in common.
I’m not sure what it is about me that felons find attractive, but I guess there is something. It’s odd because you will not find anyone who is more straight laced than me. I have never gotten in trouble with the law, am very ethical, have morals, and a sense of obligation to not only myself, but to God. I’m the last person who I would think would date someone with that past.
I always thought it was unusual that independent of each other, all three of these men found me on JDate. Maybe it’s my compassionate heart that leads them to me. I could spend forever and a day trying to figure it out. In the end there is no rhyme or reason. It is because it is so random that I found what happened to me yesterday so much more entertaining.
I am always surprised when people recognize me from my blog. The first time someone in line at Starbucks told me to keep the faith as they passed me, I started to cry. It means so much that they read and take the time to let me know. I get emails from people all over the world telling me they love my stories, and others who tell me I suck. Either way, they are reading.
Yesterday I went for a walk in the early evening. I was sick with a bug/allergies all day Saturday so I was anxious to get some air and move around a bit. On my way home I stopped at Whole Foods. I love Whole Foods and rarely get out of one without running into someone I know, or a celebrity, and I always manage to leave with a story.
So I’m in the produce section buying pears. I have recently discovered the most fantastic red pears and was picking some up. There is a woman across the aisle and she is looking at me. I smile, she smiles. I select my pears and am about to leave when she asks me if I’m the lady who writes for the Jewish Journal. I smile and tell her that yes I am.
She then tells me that she enjoys my writing and that some of my dates have left her in stitches. I thank her for reading, for saying hello and think we’re done so I turn to go. She then starts talking to me again. She lets me know that she is also Jewish, has been married for 28 years, and loves the Jewish Journal. She goes on to tell me about several stories she has read.
The woman starts telling me about her husband and how in her generation it was less acceptable to marry outside of the Jewish faith. She never would of ever considered marrying someone who was not Jewish. Not because she was religious, because she’s not, but because it was just one of those things where it was assumed Jews would marry each other.
We ended up having a very interesting conversation about faith and getting married. I was enjoying our time together very much, and then she hit me with it. She has a brother. He is tall, handsome, Jewish, smart, funny, a great dancer, divorced and available. By available of course I mean he will be available, as soon as he is released from prison. Yes people, he is in prison.
He is 51, serving time for a money/tax/stealing “situation”, and will be out by the end of the year. To be honest, I did not catch the whole story. She had shown me his picture on her phone and he was so attractive, that I was already thinking about what a great story it would be for me to meet my Beshert though a reader at Whole Foods.
By the time she got to the prison part, I had already picked out my wedding dress and had to ask her to repeat herself three times. What is it exactly that makes people think I want to date a man who has been in prison? Even more curious, is what vibe am I giving out that says I will date a man who is still in prison? I never even wear orange and I just don’t get it.
There are days when my search for love is inspiring and I know if I stick with it, I will get my happy ending. Then there are days where the search is so bizarre, that I think I might be better off getting another cat and calling it a day. To the lovely woman from Whole Foods, you are a doll and I thank you so much for wanting to set me up and your brother, who sounds great.
I am convinced my Beshert is out there, looking for me, and that one day we will find each other. I always imagined that by “out there”, he was sitting in his office, searching through the ladies of JDate, and will stumble upon my profile. I never imagined he would be in prison, and find me through his sister’s random trip to Whole Foods. That said, love has no rules.
Thank you to everyone who wants to fix me up and feels invested in my search. Thanks to the Jewish Journal for being a wonderful place to work and allowing my voice to be heard. Each new day gets me closer to love. Who knew it could be as easy as getting a bus ticket to San Quentin and the ability to keep the faith.
October 2, 2010 | 7:26 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I woke up with a fever, aching body, and an insane amount of sneezing. It came out of nowhere and I’m hoping it will pass just as quickly. I never get sick. I mean I get sick of course, but not that often. I simply won’t allow it. It’s hellish when a single mom is sick.
I have no energy and cannot get comfortable. I want some tea but don’t want to make it. I want some soup but can’t imagine it will taste good. I want someone to take care of me but am alone, laying in bed, grateful my son is out with his friends, and sad I am alone.
I never feel sorry for myself. I feel blessed to live the life I do. I am happy every day I am able to be the mother to my delicious child. I love my home, my friends, my family and my work. It’s on the rare occasion that I get sick, when I feel sorry for myself.
I like being alone. I like to read, enjoy the quiet, meditate and walk. Being alone allows me to clear my head, connect with myself and with God. It is when I am sick, that I clearly distinguish the difference between being alone and being lonely. When you are alone and sick, it’s quite lonely.
I don’t ever want my son to feel like he needs to take care of me. It is my job, and profound pleasure to take care of him. I love it when my mother takes care of me. Even as an adult just being near her makes me feel better. I hope my son feels that way about me too.
I would love to have a significant other and have him walk into my room right now with a cup of tea. I would also like him to look like George Clooney. My head is getting foggy. I’m not well. I’m going to medicate, try to sleep, and pray I wake up feeling better.
I hope I am back to my healthy self tomorrow. I want to wake up with a clear mind that allows me to embrace being alone and not feeling lonely. Being sick sucks. Luckily feeling better does not require a boyfriend, only the ability to keep the faith.
October 2, 2010 | 9:19 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Usually when I write I had a JDate lunch it means I had a date with a man I met on JDate. This week when I say I had a JDate lunch, it means I went out with some employees of JDate. I met a couple of ladies who wanted to check in and see how I was doing, how the blog was, and if I was happy with my experience. I hope when they read this blog they know it is positive.
One has a boyfriend and one is married. I didn’t feel either one could relate to me in terms of age, experience, or having to use the Internet to meet men. They were both lovely and I appreciate very much that they took the time to meet me. I felt like I was out with the girls from “The Hills” as we chatted about my experiences in dating online and specifically how I felt about meeting men through JDate.
I must tell you that even though they seemed to hear what I was saying, and acknowledged what my concerns were, I just don’t think they got it. I don’t think they can ever really understand how it is, because they don’t do it. I get that there are a gazillion people on JDate and they cannot monitor what everyone writes, the pictures they post, and the lies told. What they can do however, is make me feel like they understand, and they didn’t do that.
I don’t think these young women get that there is an emotional, financial, and time commitment to dating online. On some levels it is empowering to go online and find love, but in other ways it is completely humiliating. Anyone who says they like dating online is a liar. It is a horrible thing to have to do but a necessary evil in the times we live in. We do it because there are not a lot of other options available to meet people.
JDate has changed a lot over the years. They have made some things easier by making things clearer in terms of what you are searching for. What JDate has not done, is make me feel like they care about me. It may sound silly, but it’s really not. I am their customer, I pay for a service, and I feel like they owe me some sort of acknowledgment that they appreciate not only my money, but also my belief that they can help me find love.
I am curious what the average age of an employee at JDate is. I would guess that it skews rather young. I picture their offices as being run by a bunch of kids who have no clue what it feels like to go online everyday, put yourself up on the auction block, and wait to see if anyone bids. For those of us who do it, it’s personal. For the employees of JDate, it’s business. I wonder also how many are in inter-faith relationships.
The ladies spoke a lot about research they do to make the site better. They talked about all the clients they speak with, the testimonials of people who have found love, and how the overall feedback is that people are happy. I want to know who it is that they are talking to because people I speak with are frustrated. When I mentioned this to them they seemed offended and said that did not match up to what they are hearing.
If you have read my blog in the past, you know I am not one to blow smoke up anyone’s tuchas. I share my feelings openly and honestly. One could argue that in this particular instance, I might be well advised to not be so honest. I work for The Jewish Journal and they do business with JDate. Would I be better off not writing about it at all? I don’t think so. I believe that my opinion not only matters, but is shared by many.
As a woman who only dates within my faith, and one that is willing to invest the time and energy into meeting someone online, I think the services provided by JDate are a blessing. Where else would I have the opportunity to meet so many men who are looking for the same thing as me, where we are able to start off knowing that we have at least one thing in common? There is no other more powerful tool to use when searching for love.
I have written about good dates I’ve had through JDate, but people always remember the bad ones. If you look back at some of the dates that I’ve been on, it begs the question why do I still do it? The answer is simple. I do it because it works. I like JDate. I believe in their service and I know if I am patient, it may work for me. More importantly, if I don’t meet my Beshert on JDate, my time spent on the site has taught me a lot.
To the women who I had lunch with, while my search for love is personal, this blog is business. I am not trying to trash you or JDate. What I am doing is saying that you provide something that I need, am willing to pay for, and value. I am asking you to expand your research to people who are dedicated, focused and frustrated. I would be happy to provide you with a list of names of people who will be happy to be honest with you.
At the end of the day this blog is a love letter to JDate. It is because I respect you that I am willing to work on our relationship rather than break up with you. I want you to tell me you get it, you’re in my corner, you appreciate me for trying, and make me feel like more than just a credit card. And incase I have not said it lately, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that it can happen for me if I believe, don’t give up, and keep the faith.