Fagel Bagel with friends circa 2009
I’m a gay, Jewish boy who grew in the Black-Hat community of some unknown town. It closely resembles Kansas from the Wizard of Oz, except, I didn’t have the luxury of having my family ripped away by a tornado and thrown somewhere over the rainbow – Side Note: do you know what’s over the rainbow? Your childhood babysitter hitting a crack-pipe, a needle in her arm and her last tooth dangling by a thread. Life is a disappointing movie you already paid for.
Anyhow - along with my journey of coming out, I had to deal with a lot of shit regarding my faith. Did I believe in God? No. I didn't. Do I? I don't know. No idea. I’m gonna say no, but the jury is still out on that one. Not believing in God comes with a myriad of issues when you want to be part of the Jewish community with no faith backing up that desire. It's something instilled in you from a community that becomes family through association.
To quickly shift topic and hit you with a truth bomb: organized religion is a human invention. I should rephrase that: IN MY EYES organized religion is a human invention. I don’t trust it to be real, but I hope you believe it is because that’s awesome! But I don’t. And that's that. And my opinions are the only ones that matter here.
That being said, I think religion is so important. It unites us as a people; it makes us feel safe and protected. It gives us purpose knowing that everything we do is either for a greater meaning or vice versa. However, the way I see it, Reader, is that there is no reward waiting in heaven for the fact that you didn’t hold a plastic bag over your child’s head when they wouldn’t shut the fuck up, even though you really wanted to. To you, Reader, I say do it, because we’re all gonna end up in the ground one day, and if hell is real, I’ll probably be sentenced to being the Devil's shit scooper, living in a prison cell with a bed made up of hypodermic needles and force-fed a diet of peeled-off scabs and ambiguous Band-Aids found in a kiddie pool.
Getting back on track - I love community and feeling united by a culture. We need community as humans to feel love and empathic connection with like-minded peers. The traditions I practiced as a child present me with the fond nostalgic memories of home. So, by free will, I choose to be part of Judaism - the culture, not the faith - even if I don’t believe that the being who created us is actually there.
Am I welcomed into the community? No. I’m a faggelah, remember? They don’t want me. But I don’t care. I’m gonna claw my way inside to community like a dry butt plug that needs to fulfill its life purpose. A butt plug that is so dry, it feels like sandpaper as it rips apart the inner linings of your anal cavity made of tissue paper.
Despite my life being a cocktail mixture of existential and Identity crises, covered up by a Xanax Band-Aid, I needed to figure out how I was gonna get connected to the Jewish community if I didn’t want to sit in synagogue and pray to someone I didn’t feel was listening.
So, I set myself on a mission.
As a lover of cooking and creativity, I decided I would make traditional Jewish food and document my ventures while doing so. I don’t know how to make traditional Jewish food, so it will be like Helen Keller leading a TedTalk on mastering the art of portrait painting.
Along with the cooking documentation, I'll also be writing articles featuring my memories, my life, and the questions I have on Jewish society. The blog is starting as a cooking blog, but could easily shift to a more humorist memoir styled one. I don’t know what this platform will be. What I do know is that I'll be figuring out my connection to Judaism, and where I stand with my cultural identity other than just my snipped off-foreskin.
The blog will also force me to write more. I need the incentive to perfect my craft and finally get that book deal I've always wanted. My thoughts, feelings, and religious quandaries will be sprinkled about sporadically in the blog like homeless people on a Brooklyn subway. Except, my thoughts won't be coming out of a fifty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who needs cash to remove a tumor in her cheek - if you live in New York, you get the reference… and I'm not being insensitive; the growth is clearly a benign cyst. She's had it for years and hasn't died yet.
My memories will probably find their way into every post, because like any Jewish, gay kid brought up in a society that always told him he had no right to be there, I have some pretty dark remembrances stirring in this pensive brain of mine. And what makes me dangerous is that the most threatening combination is when a good writer goes through a shitty experience; anything can get exposed.
Warning: this blog is not for the faint of heart. I have no filter. No limits. And I completely speak my mind in any form. But I hope you guys love it, hate it, or feel such rage that you want to splash my face with acid – please don’t splash my face with acid, I don’t have health insurance.
Here goes nothing,
- Fagel Bagel