Musings While Medicated: Lessons From Harry Potter


This screenshot from Tumblr was posted on a FB fanpage. Whether it’s canon or fanfic I don’t know. There are many Dramione fanfics. But from it is the crux of this post.

You could use many words to describe me.
3 of them are Hufflepuff, Jew, and stoner. I have no problem with any of these descriptors. I’m a proud badger, I’m proud of my heritage, and MMJ ended my benzo addiction.

One of the comments on this screenshot caught my interest, I think it may have been someone claiming this was their OTP (don’t quite remember, it’s been a shitty day and I’m baked). But a comment on that comment was “No way! Hashtag Pureblood Hashtag HeilHitler” Someone actually liked it!

Mortified, I asked that person not to go there. Did he learn nothing from HP? The whole rise of Voldemort was compared to Hitler. Grindelwald was compared to WWI. Pureblood wizards…pure Aryan blood…hello? No more Hitler, no more Voldy, accepting everyone. No Hogsmeade Wall, accepting people for what they believe, where they come from, who they love, the type of magic they do, or if they do magic at all. He responded in a total douchebag manner. I decided to block him and report the post. In the process of clicking on the offensive comment, I clicked on the HH hashtag. Facebook loaded tons of public posts using that horrible hashtag. A few referenced Trump followers so I ignored them.

For those who aren’t aware 4/20 (stoner Christmas) was also Hitler’s birthday. Plus the birthday of my abusive grandfather but that’s another story. There were so many horribly offensive posts about killing minorities, glorifying Hitler, and smoking a doobie in his name.  I reported about a dozen posts before I couldn’t take it any more and broke down in tears. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!

On Death and Dying-in memory of Batya.

In December, I said, I was going to buy a Chumash in January. I only had a Tanakh and I wanted my own Chumash at home for studying. My non-Jewish readers might be a little bit confused. A Chumash is a book. It has the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Chumash is a derivative of the word for 5.) It’sin Hebrew and the lingua franca, in my case that’s English. There’s also commentary on what is going on. Since the first 5 books are divided into into a certain way as to be read weekky, there’s a section from Prophets with the weekly reading. It’s in the Chumash right after the weekly reading. The Tanakh is a much larger book, it’s the entire Hebrew Bible. T is for Torah or the first 5 books. N is for nevi’im which is prophets. Kh is ketuvim which is writings such as psalms, lamentations, proverbs.

But in January I had to catch up on some bills due to holiday spending so I told myself that I’d get a Chumash in February. Well, right at the end of January my service dog Max got an infected abcess on his paw. An expensive trip to the vet took precedent over the Chumash. Last week at Torah Study, I saw our synagogue librarian going through some books that I knew didn’t belong to the library. The bibliophile in me had to inquire about the books. Apparently they were for sale! They had been donated to the synagogue and while some were being kept for the library, others were being sold as a fundraiser. I started to page through them and my heart sank. The flyleaf said “From The Library of Betty Braver”

Betty (Batya) Braver was a well-respected and very much liked member of our community. She lost her battle with cancer last year and donated her Judaism library to the synagogue. Betty wasn’t just a member of the synagogue. Betty was gifted with the skill of being able to read from the Torah scroll. For those who don’t know, the scroll has no vowels or punctuation. Not only do you read it, you chant it and the musical notations are not in the scroll. Betty not only had this skill but she taught classes so others could learn. I was able to take one of the classes from her. The whole community mourned her passing.

In the box of books, I saw a Chumash! I was so excited! I was going to get a Chumash at a great price and one that was used by a wonderful person. The English calls this ┬áversion version with commentary by Reb Aryeh Kaplan “The Living Torah”. And Betty’s memory will forever live at Temple Beth El, through her books, through those chant trope like, via her children, and through all the lives she touched.┬áThe people we love never go away for they live in our hearts.