Sep 12 2014
So, here’s my deal: I’m socially conservative even though I’m a liberal. Confused yet?
I am a bleeding heart liberal without exception. But I am old-fashioned. My kids have clothes they only wear to synagogue. I don’t favor my kids cursing. I dress modestly. I don’t want my kids learning about sex from billboards. Stuff like that.
Which is why a few billboards I have seen lately really bug me. There is one for Ariana Grande, and I will go ahead and admit I have no idea who she is or what she does. Based on the billboard, she sells lingerie. Or stiletto heels. Or plastic surgery because every woman over 22 wishes she has that body, I’m sure. Why is she in her underwear on this billboard though? And if she has a talent (is she a singer?), then why does she have to sell herself in lingerie? I mean, I know that society is patriarchal and women are expected to be sexy and sexually available no matter what we do in society, but I guess now I need to explain that to my sons? Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 11 2014
Oh, Israel. What a month it’s been for you and me. I lost a lot of fans this month because of my love for you. But it’s OK. I love you more than popularity, even when you make me crazy. And even though I don’t always agree with Israeli policy, I’m still a Zionist.
With all that we have been through this past month, I truly, deeply, for the first time understood why Jews who previously hadn’t worn yarmulkes started wearing them in the United States after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when an Arab Coalition led by Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year. As we had been for thousands of years, in 1973, Jews were being attacked simply for being.
In the middle of the conflicts in Israel and Gaza this month, and in the middle of the virulent attacks I was coming under on social media, I put on my Magen David–my Star of David necklace–and it strangely felt like putting on armor. It felt like a statement. Gold armor around my neck: the way I show that I am Jewish and that I am not afraid to be so. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 30 2014
1. I need to feel like I’m doing something.
2. No matter what your politics are, soldiers sent into war zones deserve to be protected from enemy fire.
3. Every soldier is someone’s son or daughter. Every single one.
Want to keep up the latest news on Israel? Sign up for JTA’s newsletter here.
Love Mayim? Get her latest blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.
Jul 18 2014
Besides the fact that I am recovering from major hand surgery, I am finding it difficult to write these days. I am using a dictation program as well as utilizing Fancy Assistant Brandon’s typing skills, so it’s not that I have no way to communicate with the outside world.
The problem is with Israel. It’s on my mind pretty much all of the time. When the three teenagers were kidnapped a month ago, it was on my mind. When they were found murdered and left in an open field, it was on my mind. When Jewish extremists burned a Palestinian teenager alive in retribution, it was on my mind.
What is also on my mind is the plight of the Palestinian people; the innocent people caught in the crossfire of Hamas, a military and political entity which calls for the explicit destruction of the state of Israel as part of their official charter. What is also on my mind are the hundreds of thousands of Jews and Arabs in Israel being shelled with rockets from every border. What is also on my mind is my family and my friends and their children and their grandchildren being ushered into bomb shelters when sirens blare. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 1 2014
I took a social media break after the heartbreaking news came out yesterday of the gruesome discovery of the bodies of the three teenagers kidnapped in Israel, who were missing since June 12.
I don’t have a lot to say. I don’t understand politics. I don’t understand what it must be like to lose a child simply because they were coming home from school and someone decided it was a courageous and admirable political act to kidnap, murder them, and leave them in an open field.
I looked at my sons as they went to bed last night and I thought of the mothers who spent their lives tucking their boys in, and making them lunch, and bandaging cut knees, and holding them when they had their feelings hurt. I thought of their dreams for their sons to marry and become fathers and tuck their own children in. Heartbreak. That must be what it feels like to lose your son like this: like having your heart broken. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 18 2014
I cried when Gilad Shalit was released after five years in captivity by Hamas. I posted pictures of him all over my dressing room door at “The Big Bang Theory.” The unimaginable impossibility of someone’s son being a prisoner for five years tore me up inside as a mother in a way few stories have since I became a mother. He ate schnitzel the first night home. The country sold out of schnitzel after they heard through the press that that was what Gilad ate for dinner. That’s Israel.
The kidnapping of three teenagers–not soldiers; teenagers–last week in Israel has been on my mind constantly. My posts about other things (“Blossom” reunions, or how cute my hairless cat is) should not detract from this ongoing crisis or its significance. It has been on my mind all of the time.
I have been weighing how to comment on it since it happened. There are so many haters of Israel on the internet and so many racists, to be quite honest, who send me disgusting hateful horrible things about what a horrible person I am because I am Jewish and believe in the right of the State of Israel to exist (also known as Zionism). I shouldn’t read those (or any!) comments, and it shouldn’t bother me, but it does. And I don’t want to start a fight on Facebook or allow a fight on my Facebook page about if Israel has the right to exist (it does and has to and always will) or if kidnapping innocent teenagers and holding them hostage is a political statement (um…it’s not; it’s terrorism). Read the rest of this entry →
May 8 2014
So I met the President last week.
As I see it, there are three kinds of people in this world: people who like the President and want to know what meeting him was like, people who dislike the President and want to know what meeting him was like, and people who dislike the President and therefore don’t want to know what meeting him was like.
It’s the third type of person that actually made it possible for me to get to meet him, since I attended a reception basically thanking people who helped the President’s Affordable Care Act enroll 8 million people in health care programs who previously had none–especially those of us who got flack from our fans for doing so. So third type of person: I get you, I get it, and thanks! Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 17 2014
Backstage at the Bill Maher show.
I was on “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Valentine’s Day. Here are the highlights:
I like Bill Maher quite a bit. So being a guest on his show was extra pressure because I like him and respect him and didn’t want to come off like a dolt.
2. The Other Dudes.
Um. Jeremy Scahill? You are seriously smart. Like really smart. You remind me of my UCLA Marxism professor I had a huge crush on because he was super duper serious and cerebral and you didn’t know if he ever laughed but you wanted to be the girl who made him laugh. Never mind. I have issues. Anyway. Jeremy Scahill and Eric Klinenberg and Dylan Ratigan? You’re all super smart. Bill Nye the Science Guy as the first guest? Super duper smart and eloquent. Didn’t want to come off like a dolt in front of these men.
3. A Natural Woman.
I am very sensitive to situations where I feel so… female. Like on the Bill Maher show. I was especially nervous about coming off like a dolt because then people might say, “Oh, that woman said something dumb.” Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 20 2012
For those looking for a way to talk with your children about the current situation in Israel, this piece has been circulating among a number of Jewish day schools and is super helpful. I’ve found it especially helpful in talking to my older son. It was edited by Debra Shaffer Seeman, who has a Masters in Education from Harvard, as well as Jonathan Magen, Rabbi Sharon Barr Skolnick, and Rabbi Karen Reiss Medwed.
The security situation in Israel is complicated and changes quickly. Sometimes it is hard to know how to engage our children in conversations about current events around Israel. This document is geared for parents of children ages 6-13 to help enter into conversations about the current situation in Israel. Please carefully screen all videos and photos before sharing them and trust your instincts about your child’s ability to process this information and the graphic images.
What is going on in Israel? Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 7 2012
Photo via Twitter/@BarackObama
Well, it’s over. I actually went to bed when CNN called Obama the predicted winner. I was in Ohio last week speaking for their Hillel at Case Western Reserve University and I’d like to think I had something to do with Obama taking Ohio, but I’m sure I didn’t.
It was a really tight race, and the first race since having kids that I was able to focus a bit on, since the past eight years of child-rearing have been a blur of breastfeeding, night wakings, and general chaos and mayhem of small people. Read the rest of this entry →