Tag Archives: victims

Everybody Complains

Everything is problematic, including this post.

And it’s about fking time you all realized it.

I give the transgression of everything being problematic four problematics. Now we can start making change happen.

-Delilah S. Dawson
Everything’s A Problem

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf made an appearance on evangelist Paula White’s Instagram, much to the chagrin of her followers.

“Little Red Riding Hood with the Big Bad Wolf (emojis)️ #love #marriage #life #fun #makingmemories” the newlywed posted.

The post has more than 1,500 likes and hundreds of comments.

“By dressing up for Satan’s holiday, you are praising him. This is righteous judgment, not pointing a finger. The enemy needs to be exposed openly,” one commenter posted.

Another wrote: “Dressing Up in a Costume…(Costume Parties-Fall Festival-Family Day,…) There is NOTHING WRONG with that…”

The back-and-forth is similar to conversations Christians have had in recent weeks regarding celebrating Halloween.

-Jessilyn Justice
“Paula White Halloween Photo Stirs Religious Controversy”
CharismaNews.com

This morning (Friday as I write this), on our commute into work together, I was talking with my son about how news and social media has seemingly lost their collective minds. It’s like people take offense at just about anything anymore. Further, it looks like our universities are actively teaching young people when, how, and by what they should be offended.

We’re raising a nation of complainers and victims.

paula white
Paula White and Jonathan Cain

I usually leave these sorts of rants to Facebook and for the most part, they go little to nowhere, but then I saw something in my twitter feed, a link to Everything’s A Problem. The specific comment on twitter was that all the members of Monty Python are white and male. I couldn’t find the specific complaint on the “Everything’s” blog, but I found plenty else that sounded just as silly.

At first, I thought it was all parody, but the little articles seemed to lack that kind of “eye twinkle” that tells the reader “I’m being ridiculous to illustrate how complaining about these things is ridiculous” (such as the film The Martian promoting, among other things, colonialism). The Tumblr site appears to be an extreme example of how a certain social and political perspective has turned “majoring in the minors” into a fine and highly prolific art.

But then, I also saw the CharismaNews.com article about Paula White (I had to “Google” her to find out she’s a Christian televangelist) dressing up as Little Red Riding Hood and her husband donning a Wolf costume so they could pose for a photo together and then post it to instagram.

Going back to “Everything’s” for a bit, here are some sample “problematic” complaints.

About Colonizing Mars

Short answer: without a rigorous regimen of social justice, they can’t. Space will be white and male and sexist and probably cisnorm and filled with aliens attempting to gain “dubious consent” (i.e., space rape culture). SMDH [Shaking My Damn Head].

I have to be honest, the most horrifying aspect of this whole Mars obsession is the glorification of colonization. I was “lucky” enough to attend an early screening of “The Martian,” and there’s a minutes-long monologue in which Matt Damon (who is terribly problematic already) goes on and on about how one is technically a “colonizer” after one successfully plants a crop.

AYFKM? This is a good thing? Did Hollywood even think about how this speech would trigger colonized peoples? Does no one out there read Aura Bogado? What is this, the 16th century? Why not just release this movie on Columbus Day while punching an indigenous person in the face? I can’t. I just can’t.

Oh yeah. I forgot about triggers. I had to “Google” Aura Bogado, to find out who she is, although it seems that Bogado can also be problematic from time to time.

the martian

About the film “The Martian”

This is so nuts. Some might think it’s silly to suggest that a tossed off line in a novel about the activities of two kids represents massive levels of sexism in society. These people don’t understand that everything must be examined with a critical lens. Problems must be denounced, and harshly.

It’s bad enough that The Martian praises colonialism like it’s a great thing and stars an actor who has Bad Thoughts on diversity and said that it’s hard in Hollywood for gay actors. That it is also an actively sexist production that has no love for lady-geeks is the hardest blow of all. SMDH, The Martian. SMDH. And SMDH at all you lady-nerds who thought this movie was okay after seeing it this weekend. You know who you are.

I give the transgression of having female characters but not having them be female enough or something except when they’re being too female or whatever four problematics.

About Spooning

Some people think it’s cute when people lay in bed with their loved ones, holding each other in their arms. This act is commonly referred to as “spooning.”

Other people—enlightened people—realize that spooning is a deeply problematic way that power structures propagate themselves. Fortunately, such enlightened people are dominant in the media and can explain to us how we should be Good

Now for the other side of the coin, so to speak. What did some of the readers over at CharismaNews.com have to say about Paula White and her husband?

David K

Umm… Dressing up for Halloween is the least of Paula’s problems. Discerning Christians have seen through Ms. White’s brand of heresy for years now.

I think what is really sad is that there are “Christians” who actually can’t see through her. The lady is not a Christian, folks. Wake up and measure her actions according God’s word. While we are not to judge the world, we are absolutely mean’t to measure those who claim to be one of us by the word of God, and Paula White fails the test (John 10:10-13).

cross pumpkinWanda K

WWJD????? Would JESUS celebrate this worldly pagan holiday? Should Christians celebrate it? It has NOTHING to do with JESUS, nothing do with Christianity. What do right and wrong have in common? What do the saved and the unsaved have in common? Is there anything GODLY about Halloween? What about ghosts, goblins, graveyards, bats, witches and brooms, plus skeletons and tombstones, have to do with anything Christian? GO figure that one out? It’s not just innocent fun. I’m sure many of her supporters are disappointed. The word of GOD says in the last days there will be many false prophets.
Christians (real ones that is) are to be children of the light, and not the dark. There is no light in Halloween. It’s all dark like a chamber, or a dungeon, just dark and black and dreary…
JESUS was the light of the world and we were to imitate JESUS, and not satan.

Phil H

Some people have no problem with adultery and false teaching. But put on a costume on Halloween, and they go bonkers

And the beat goes on.

I’m not attempting to defend or criticize White and her husband Jonathan Cain, nor making a commentary on Halloween in specific or secular and religious holidays in general (so please don’t start).

I am saying that we’re a complaining lot and being able to blog or comment on news and social media so easily has just made things worse. It used to take some effort to type a Letter to the Editor and then mail it to the local newspaper in the hopes it might actually be printed, but now, anyone can say anything and gain an instant audience.

I did find something enlightening on the web that I’d like to pass along (with the knowledge that I’m obviously not following its sage advice).

“Silence is a fence around wisdom.”

-Talmud

I don’t expect the secular media or those who communicate through it to acknowledge that bit of wisdom, but those of us who call ourselves disciples of Rav Yeshua (Jesus) should hold ourselves to a higher standard. I really don’t care if Paula White or whoever dresses up as a fairy tale character for Halloween or any other day of the year (I wonder what the folks commenting at Charisma News would think of Jewish kids in Israel dressing up in costume and going door-to-door on Purim?).

click baitI did give into temptation and made my own comment in response to the White article:

I never comment here since these discussions are rarely productive, and I had to Google “Paula White” to find out who she is, but with all of the real woes in this world, all of the unanswered prayers that we, as believers, could answer and fulfill (feeding the poor, visiting the sick, pick a need…there are plenty out there), why is Paula White and her husband choosing to dress up in costume an issue? I know I’ll probably get blasted for even asking, but it seems that we Christians are just as guilty of complaining on social media over the tiniest things we find offensive as our atheist counterparts. Perhaps someone should tell us to “get a (Christian) life” and then *do* our faith.

So far, no one has “flamed” me, but I believe it’ll happen fairly soon. Religious people can be a mouthy bunch, and those (including me, alas) who responded to that bit of cheap click bait aren’t living up to the highest standards of our teacher and King.

Advertisements

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

BTW, considering the subject of the kingdom of heaven and the establishment of the physical messianic kingdom on earth in Israel, at present and during the past couple of hours a large area of southern Israel has been under heavy bombardment by missiles fired from Gaza. I’ve spent a portion of that time in my home’s concrete-reinforced shelter room. So far, all but a few of these missiles have been intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome defense system (Baruch HaShem!). The few that landed have not injured anyone or caused serious damage. They have reached, however, as far as the northern suburbs of Jerusalem, as well as to Tel-Aviv, and the alert sirens have blared from BeerSheva to Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Hamas claims to have fired toward Haifa, but I have not yet seen any reports confirming that their missiles can actually reach that far. Nonetheless, this is a time for intensive prayer for the continued protection of Israeli citizens, and success for the IDF efforts to destroy Hamas’ capabilities to continue waging war against civilian populations in this or any manner.

-ProclaimLiberty
July 8, 2014 at 3:12 p.m.

It all seemed to start with the kidnapping and subsequent murder of three Jewish teenagers, Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah, perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. This horrible and tragic event brought Israeli Jews and Jews in the diaspora together in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time. While the IDF made a concerted effort to find the perpetrators, the military and public response was remarkably restrained. Believe me, as a father and grandfather, if one of mine were brutally murdered in what we call in the United States, “a hate crime,” I’d have wanted blood.

But I’m not as noble as the families of the victims.

Apparently in revenge for the killings, a 16-year-old Palestinian named Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and found burned to death. Although there were early allegations that Abu Khdeir, supposedly gay, had been murdered by other Palestinians in an “honor killing” and then blame shifted to Jewish Israelis, the latest report is that six Jewish suspects were arrested. It is still highly disputed in some circles that the suspects are the actual killers and that police are covering up for Arab perpetrators, perhaps to stop or at least inhibit the Palestinian rioting that has broken out since Mohammed’s burnt body was discovered.

I heard that one of the mothers of the Jewish victims reached out to Mohammed’s mother, but I can’t find that story online just now (speaking of people more noble than I am), but I do know that Mohammed’s parents refused a visit by President Shimon Peres. In fact, unlike the mothers of the Jewish boys, Mohammed’s mother called for violent revenge against Jews.

Women from Mohammed Abu Khdeir's family hold pictures of the killed Palestinian teenager
Women from Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s family hold pictures of the killed Palestinian teenager

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know where my bias lies in all this, but I’m not writing my “meditation” to bash Palestinians, but rather, to try to put all of this together.

Rabbi Kalman Packouz was recently taken to task by one of the readers of his column at Aish.com for condemning the murders of Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal, but not Mohammed’s.

I received the following email from Judith R. in response to my recent Shabbat Shalom Weekly:
“And no word condemning the despicable murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and referring to him by his name??? What kind of Rabbi are you? Wasn’t he also created in God’s image?”

Of course she is right.

The juxtaposition of attitudes is startling.

But “attitudes” aren’t all people are worrying about in Israel just now.

Some 120 rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel on Tuesday, the first day of the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge.

IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner told the AFP news agency that 23 of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, with most of the rest exploding on open ground causing no damage or casualties.

Hamas upped the ante on Tuesday and extended the range of the rockets.

-Elad Benari
“120 Rockets Fired at Israel During Day 1 of Operation”
First published 7/9/2014, 1:15 a.m.
Arutz Sheva

Hamas has vowed revenge after an attempt to use Palestinian civilians as human shields resulted in several fatalities, as Israeli Air Force planes targeted the home of a Hamas commander.

Gazan emergency services claim Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 15 people on Tuesday and wounded 80 others, as the military began an aerial campaign against terrorists in the Strip and prepares for a potential ground offensive.

-Ari Soffer, Dalit Halevi, and AFP
“Hamas Vows Revenge After Use of Human Shields Goes Awry”
First published 7/8/2014, 5:29 p.m.
Arutz Sheva

Struggling to maintain the banner of ‘resistance’, the Gazan terror group is firing at Israel in the hope Ramallah and Cairo will hear its plea for help.

-Elhanan Miller
“Hamas decides to go for broke”
Published 7/8/2014, 4:02 p.m.
Times of Israel

Smoke rises from Gaza airport
Smoke rises from Gaza airport

And America’s response to all of this?

Hamas terrorists kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

These jihadist terrorists murdered kids. Yet, the reaction of the Obama Administration has been an absolute disgrace.

Remember, a U.S. citizen was just murdered (along two other Israeli teens) by Palestinian terrorists – known brutal terrorist who routinely fire rockets at Israeli civilians – and the Obama Administration responded by urging restraint.

In fact, President Obama actually urged “all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”

Destabilize? Hamas terrorists killed an American teen and all this Administration is concerned about is that things may destabilize?

-Matthew Clark
“President Obama Responds to Hamas Terrorists’ Murder of American Teen with “Strongest Possible” Meaningless Words”
July 1, 2014, 12:47 p.m.
ACLJ.org

OK, that last story is over a week old, but to the best of my information, America hasn’t become more involved diplomatically or in any other way since Hamas started firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians in an all out attempt to provoke other Arab forces to join the violence against Israel.

I do know that although the American press was exceptionally silent about the death of the three Jewish teens, it prominently posted stories regarding Mohammed:

Several Israeli Jewish suspects were arrested Sunday in connection with the killing of a Palestinian teen, Israeli police said.

“Investigation continuing, strong indication a nationalistic incident,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted about the death of Mohammed Abu Khedair.

Rosenfeld told CNN that those arrested were Israeli Jews.

-Kareem Khadder, Ben Wedeman, and Steve Almasy CNN
“Israel arrests several suspects in killing of Palestinian teen”
updated 11:21 a.m., Monday, 7/7/2014
CNN.com

New arrivals at Ben Gurion airport
New arrivals at Ben Gurion airport

If I can be said to have a bias in this situation, so can the American news media…and perhaps the American President.

Amazingly, even in the midst of a war zone, life goes on in Israel:

Making Aliyah is never an easy task, and leaving family, friends and memories behind is enough of a challenge for any new oleh.

But imagine making Aliyah under fire.

That is precisely what 26-year-old Becky Kupchan – one of the 64 new olim who arrived today from the USA – is doing. She is moving from Chicago straight to the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva, despite the fact that the city, like other Negev communities, is currently being rocked by waves of rocket-fire from Gaza.

-Ari Soffer
“Making Aliyah Under Fire”
First published 7/8/2014, 8:06 p.m.
Arutz Sheva

Where am I going with all this? By the time you read this tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, everything I’ve written will be old news. Things could get better or things could get worse. Or things could get much, much worse.

I think of my friends in Israel. I won’t embarrass anyone by naming names. But I’m not limited to my personal feelings for friends and acquaintances. If Israel is under attack, then so are all Jews everywhere. My wife is Jewish. So are my two sons and my daughter. At different times, my wife and my daughter have visited Israel. What if they were visiting there now?

But as I said, Jews are under attack all over the world. If Arab Muslims are firing rockets at Jews in Israel, they are at war with all Jews. The rest of the world, if they/we don’t stand up against terrorism and against this rabid series of rocket launches, are offering tacit approval of this war.

And what’s going to happen when Israel seriously strikes back as the operation continues? If this were happening in America, how long would even the person we have now in the White House stand by and let innocent people be endangered before firing back with all the might in our arsenals, eliminating the hostile forces and everything (everyone) else in the way?

Most of you reading this blog post have never been under fire unless you have served in the military or in law enforcement. How would you like to hear a siren in the middle of the night and have fifteen seconds to get to shelter because after that, it becomes distinctly possible you could be killed in a missile explosion?

Such things don’t happen in America, in Canada, in most or all western nations. They are happening right now in Israel.

pray for the idfIt started (this time) with an act of terrorism and cold-blooded murder that took the lives of three innocent Jewish teenage boys. It escalated with what appears to be a completely misguided revenge killing of another innocent teenager, a Palestinian. And then all hell broke loose.

I can only record how this began, I can’t tell you how it will end. Well, I can tell you that it will end, ultimately end.

“A song of ascents. Of David. Had it not been for Hashem Who was with us, let Israel declare now. Had it not been for Hashem Who was with us when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us raw when their anger was kindled against us. Then the waters would have washed us away; illness would have passed over our soul. Then the wicked waters would have passed over our soul. Blessed is Hashem, Who did not give us as prey for their teeth. Our soul escaped like a bird from the hunters’ snare; the snare broke, and we escaped. Our help is in the name of Hashem, Who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 124

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.

Psalm 122:6

The Morality of Israel…Yes, You Can Depend On It.

Pray for the Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings

boston_marathon_terror_explosionTwo bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, leaving two people dead and dozens more wounded.

A third explosion was heard just before 4 p.m., about an hour after the first two blasts, at the nearby John F. Kennedy Library. The police later said that episode may have been unrelated.

By John Eligon and Ken Belson
“Explosions at Boston Marathon Kill 2”
Published April 15, 2013
The New York Times

What can I say that hasn’t already been said except to encourage everyone reading this to pray for the victims of the blasts and their loved ones. May God grant mercy and consoling to them and to everyone touched by this horrible tragedy.

My heart grieves with the victims.

163 days.

Forgiving the Victim

Personally, I am a big fan of forgiveness. I believe that there is no such thing as a transgression so great that it cannot be forgiven. In fact, it’s Elul, the month in the Hebrew calendar not only known to lovers of crossword puzzles, but the month leading up to both Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year — and Yom Kippur — a day which promises that whatever we have done, forgiveness and atonement are always possible.

That same tradition, however, also teaches that while anything can be forgiven, we don’t always equate forgiveness with forgetfulness, recognizing that forgiveness is not always the same as atonement. The former reflects a letting go of the hurt and anger caused by a bad act, while the latter implies a reunified or reconciled relationship as seen in the word: at-one-ment.

-Brad Hirschfield
“Forgiving Todd Akin”
The Washington Post

Everyone’s terrified. No one knows what they want to work on. Everyone has something that they find hard. Because this stuff IS really hard. If they aren’t anxious or nervous, they are compensating, and pretending. Never walk into a room and expect that you are the smartest person in it, because you probably aren’t. Don’t let that scare you, let it feed you.

-Joe Hanson
“Impostor Syndrome Grad School”
It’s OK To Be Smart

The month of Elul is all about repentance and forgiveness. I recently read a statement on Facebook made by a Jewish gentlemen who said, “If I have hurt anyone, or said anything that was offensive to any of my friends, I ask your forgiveness before Yom Kippur just as I forgive all who have offended me.” That pretty much captures the heart of Elul and the hearts of anyone who desires to forgive and be forgiven.

But it’s not that easy. I read the article about Todd Akin a day or so ago and am presenting it as an example of how difficult it can be to forgive someone, even if you believe they are sincere in their repentance.

Just in case you don’t know who Todd Akin is or why he is asking for forgiveness, here’s another portion of Mr. Hirschfield’s opinion piece:

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin has vowed to stay in his race for the Senate despite calls from leaders in every wing of his party that he abandon the campaign, and despite comments from presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who found Akin’s ideas about “legitimate rape” and the “fact” that “forcibly raped” women are biologically protected from getting pregnant, to be indefensible.

Mr. Akin has inspired more than a little outrage from people in general and women in specific. The idea that a woman can be raped and if it is “really” rape, that her body will shut down certain processes so she cannot become pregnant is just plain crazy. It’s a deep insult to any rape victim and particularly any rape victim who has become pregnant by her assailant. I can’t even begin to imagine what Mr. Akin was thinking when he made that astonishing statement.

I don’t know if this is true in Mr. Akin’s case, but I have encountered more than a few people who behaved in an abrasive, hostile, bullying, condescending, or otherwise unpleasant manner, not because they ever wanted to victimize other people, but because they felt they were defending themselves.

Let me explain.

At some point or another, we’ve all been hurt. Almost invariably, we’ve experienced hurt in childhood. It’s almost impossible for a child to avoid pain all of the time. They’re so dependent on the adults around them; their parents, other close relatives, their teachers, and if raised in a religious home, their clergy. Any one of these adults, in a thoughtless or careless moment, could scare or otherwise traumatize a small child.

Of course, if it is a single, random event and otherwise, you are a child being raised in a supportive, protective home, having one uncle or teacher yell at you isn’t’ going to scar you for life. But if the trauma is repeated or chronic, and if the child is raised in an insecure environment, it’s not so easy to overcome. There are also acute traumatic events like a severe illness or injury that can result in a child feeling insecure and victimized, even if no one is at fault. A child may perceive a long hospital stay with many invasive medical procedures as punishing, even when it’s absolutely necessary. The child can blame his parents for leaving him there, forcing him to be “hurt” by needles, being alone in the dark in a strange place.

There are a lot of things that can feel hurtful to a child.

Children have no power in their lives. They depend almost entirely on the adults around them for protection. However, as those children become adults, it becomes different. The parents have less and less of a role in protecting the child and helping him to cope, and the person who is now an adult must take personal responsibility for how they react and manage their victimization (which can be a real or a perceived betrayal).

Many people find ways to adapt and overcome a childhood trauma or victimization. I’m not saying it’s easy and I’m certainly not minimizing the pain and anguish people have gone through. I am saying there is hope, but each of us must realize that we can’t place all the responsibility to overcome on our environment or even on the people and events that have hurt us. We must take charge of the process ourselves; we must make ourselves responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

But what happens when someone is still struggling with their sense of victimization? What happens when your first impression of a person is their hostility, their abrasive attitude, how they bully other people? You probably don’t think they’re a victim. You’re more likely to think they’re an aggressor or even a perpetrator who victimizes others.

It’s one thing when someone approaches us in a humble and sorrowful way, explains to us why they behaved in a hurtful manner, resolves to correct their error, and asks for our forgiveness. It becomes very easy and compelling to forgive them. We want to forgive them. All their barriers are down. They’re vulnerable. If we have a shred of pity within us, we’ll forgive them without hesitation.

It’s another thing entirely to know a person is probably a victim but they do not accept any responsibility for their abusive behaviors and they definitely don’t ask for forgiveness. It’s very hard to get past their barriers when they continue to blame others, not just those who really victimized them, but entire people groups or institutions for how they feel. It would be like blaming all Christians everywhere and calling the church evil because one Christian person or even one rather sketchy Christian church hurt you, even if they hurt you very badly.

If you’re a Christian and you’re continually being blamed by a person who was hurt by “religion” or “Christianity” and you know their aggressive actions are just the mask they use to conceal a very hurt and vulnerable person, can you still forgive them?

Remember, when you tell them you forgive them, they will likely say they’ve done nothing requiring forgiveness and blame you for the whole thing.

Forgiveness is one thing. Reconciliation is something else. But then, Mr. Hirschfield has more to say on the subject.

The desire to be forgiven is only the beginning of the lengthy process of atonement, and it takes much more than an ad campaign, however sincere it may be, to get there.

I am all for forgiving those who genuinely seek forgiveness, but part of that search must include a clear understanding by the wrongdoer of the nature of the misdeed.

I don’t believe that anybody should be judged by their worst deeds or dumbest words alone. Who among us could pass that test? And I do believe in second chances, even hundreds of them…

Confusing forgiveness with forgetfulness and trying to short circuit the process of genuine atonement demeans a sacred concept. So by all means, people should open themselves to forgiving Todd Akin, but that has little or nothing to do with supporting his candidacy for the Senate.

We can and should learn to forgive people who have insulted, hurt, and victimized us, but that doesn’t mean continuing to allow them to hurt us because it’s what they think they need to do to make their own pain feel better. A battered wife may learn to forgive her abusive husband in time, but that doesn’t mean she still shouldn’t divorce him and gain sole custody of their children for her protection and her children’s. You can forgive and still protect yourself from further abuse. You can realize that your abuser is a victim too, but it may never be safe to attempt any form of reconciliation with them, to allow yourself to be around them, to even talk, email, text, or communicate with them in any way.

Once the victim becomes the victimizer in any form whatsoever, while we can forgive them, it will still be difficult or impossible to be around them. Unless they seek help and accept personal responsibility for their actions and for repairing the damage within them, even though they never caused the pain in the first place, how can we say that our forgiving them means we should let them keep hurting us, even in very “minor” ways like name-calling or blaming?

Also, as Mr. Hirschfield said, forgiveness and atonement are a long process. Sometimes it can take years. Just saying, “I forgive you” doesn’t mean you really did. You may have to learn to see past the hurt he did to you before you’re ready to accept that your abuser is a victim, too.

ForgivenessJoe Hanson essentially said that you can let your insecurities control you or you can learn to control them. He wasn’t talking about being a victim, but I think his advice is sound and applies here. Part of what’s supposed to go on during Elul is that we’re supposed to examine our behavior and see where it’s fallen short of God’s standards. This must include our “righteous” behavior when we felt we were “confronting evil” or “protecting ourselves by being proactive.” Were we being unfair? Were we blaming people who never hurt us? Are we projecting our own pain, anger, and suppressed rage onto others?

Are we perpetuating our own victimization and feeling self-righteous by continuing to attack and blame people who had nothing to do with the original cause of our pain?

What if our so-called “righteousness” is just a disguise and we’ve really become the monster we are still afraid of in the dark?

We can never go back in time and prevent the damage that was done to us. We can however, take responsibility for who we are today, seek God, seek help through various therapeutic means, and rise up out of the ashes of our yesterday to become a better, more truly righteous, and forgiving person tomorrow.

Forgive.

If I have hurt anyone, or said anything that was offensive to anyone, I ask your forgiveness before Yom Kippur just as I forgive all who have offended me.