The Torah parshah Ki Teitzei, Deutornomy 21:10 to 25:19, contains 74 of the 613 commandments/mitzvot found in the Torah. These mitzvot cover a wide range of topics and concerns. For example, there are mitzvot about how to sow and harvest your fields and others about aiding those in need, including animals. Some of the mitzvot describe how and why divorces can be decreed, to whom can one charge interest, and the punishments for various crimes. There is a mitzvah concerning the requirement to erect a fence on one’s roof to prevent people from falling off, one about not wearing clothes of the opposite gender, one about returning and/or caring for lost property and another detailing from what type of material one’s clothes can be made.
The parshah is literally one mitzvah/commandment/rule after another. Some of the mitzvot seem logical and good for the community. For example, help an animal whose been given a load too heavy for it to carry. Hold onto someone’s property if you find it, so you can give it to them the next time you see them. Build a fence on your roof so that no one falls off. Continue reading “On Ki Teitzei: Rules and the Importance of Religion by Ivy Helman”
Becoming a Godfather was more than just a reentry into the Catholic traditions I had long given up but rather a journey back in time that would grant me the ability to rewrite the wrongs I felt as a kid growing up in a tradition I not only didn’t understand but also didn’t feel like I belonged in.
I often wondered why I wasn’t asked to be the Godfather of my niece and nephew. It made perfect sense to me that I would be the best person to guide and provide spiritual care for either of them as I was the only member, in both my family and my brother-in-law’s, getting a PhD in Religion. I didn’t think there would be much to it. I would go, hold my nephew, and watch a priest pour water over his head, and then go and enjoy some very sugary cake in my sister’s backyard.
On August 18th, 2012 my wish came true and I became the Godfather to my sister’s second child, Drew. I had always believed that there was nothing to being a Godfather. That it was a title in name only and a tradition that many individuals bestowed upon members of their family as ritualistic habit rather than a sacred institution of spiritual care and upbringing. Boy, was I wrong. Continue reading “8 Simple Rules for Being a Queer Godfather by John Erickson”