Time continues to move, though, perhaps you too are experiencing a bit of time-outside-of-time this week of shiva for mads. The shiva period is half over. She died a week ago tonight. Since Friday, hundreds have gathered over these first many days. We have said kaddish for her every day. We accompany her and we accompany one another. Her teaching and memories and values accompany us.
So much singing, crying, hugging, laughing, and loving. Kadima has been holding space, and many others have convened space to support one another and honor mads. We have been so blessed to be joined by mads’ aunt Naomi and cousin Ariela as well as folks from Tzedek Lab, Jewish Studio Project, Social Justice Fund, the Kohenet Community, Community Alliance for Global Justice, Black and Pink, European Dissent, The Village of Hope, Rites of Passage and more. Our togetherness to remember, honor, connect and comfort is a m’chaya - a giver and place of life (Yiddish). Thank you for your togetherness. May it impact us always.
I wanted to provide a check in for us all as we navigate the week. While our relationships with mads vary greatly, there has been a sense that everyone who has shared anything about her truly knew and loved her essence. In every one of my meetings and study sessions, people have been sharing their condolences and comfort. Some have commented that she “feels present” this week. May she always. We are grateful to our friends Rabbi Adina Allen and Jeff Kasowitz on behalf of the Jewish Studio Project community for sharing this slideshow of mads in action making art and learning Jewish text. For songs, shiva sheets, blessings, and slideshows currently collected, visit this shared folder.
And, as while shiva is time-outside-of-time, it is also within time. It will end. As we prepare for that eventuality, know that we will hold Friday night gatherings for shabbat candle lighting and the recitation of the mourner’s kaddish (as well as space to connect and remember and honor) through the mourning period of shloshim - the 30 days beginning the count at the beginning of shiva: February 10, 17, and 24 - times and details on the Kadima calendar.
And, there is a great deal of mourning in our midst. We mourn the lives of so many who died from violence this past month alone: We remember the eight victims of the Half Moon Bay shooting on January 21; the 11 victims of the Monterey Park shooting on January 23; Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, murdered January 18 in Atlanta, GA protesting Cop City and defending the Weelaunee Forest; the ten Palestinians murdered on January 16 – nine in Jenin and one in Al-Ram near Jerusalem; and Tyre Deandre Nichols, murdered in Memphis, TN following his arrest on January 7, as police footage made visceral this past Friday - on International Holocaust Remembrance Day remembering the 6 million Jews and at least 5 million others - the disabled, Black, Roma, Slavic, and more. (With thanks to R’ Ariana Katz for compiling most of this list.)
People have been asking me: “how are you doing?” And I have been hearing it as “how am I doing?” What uplifts me? What sustains me? What keeps me going? Fuels me?
At Kadima we have been asking this question collectively. As such, below you will find some ways we are beginning to reactivate community care mechanisms from Team Yitro to Chadesh, from Mutual Aid Kadima to a collection of Kadima therapists, grief counselors, death doulas, and care professionals - be in touch if you would like to be paired with a Kadima care professional at this time or any other. We are asking us to participate in these efforts in some way over the next month. Join us for Community Care Dinner Swap, Chadesh intergenerational gatherings on grief, offer yourself as a doula or care professional, ask us for something you need.
Sending love and care during this period of collective mourning and on this first day of Black History (and Futures!) Month and Jewish Disability Justice Month.
L’Chayah Bracha - to life that is blessed,