J is for Judgment

J is for Judgment

I want to be in love someday. I want to be weak in the knees, come undone at the seams. The world should tremble beneath us, the skies fall as starlight pours around us. I want to be married under the open sky as birds sing and rainbows break amongst the clouds and cling to the last daylight as Anar sails into the west.

Except none of this could ever happen, and for many still it can’t happen, and it won’t happen if not for the forthcoming words of the nine judges deciding now in silence our shared fate.

Continue reading

The Issues at Hand

Last Thursday, when early voting began in North Carolina, I encouraged everyone to research the issues, to know the candidates, and to go vote. Ironically, I had yet to do any of these things–however, as I returned home this weekend, it was my intent to do all of them. And I am quite pleased to announce that I have, indeed, now done all of them.

But I don’t want to stop there.

Instead, I want to share with you what I believe–where I stand on the issues at hand and the candidates I have placed my faith in to propel us forward. My intent is not to persuade, although certainly I believe I have endorsed those who will lead us to the best state we can be in–nationally and locally–and for that reason persuasion is not a bad thing, but it is not my intent. What I plan to share is my ballot–who I voted for and more importantly why I gave them my endorsements.

Before I continue, I want to be clear about where I’ve gained my facts and the resources that led me to making my decisions: First, I relied on NCVoterGuide.org to provide me with my personal ballot information (available in sample ballot form at NSCBE.gov) and summaries of the candidates. Second, I relied on the candidates’ websites to further aid in making my decisions. If you do not live in North Carolina, at least take the time to read a little bit further about the national candidates I’ve voted for (namely, the president) and then, unless you truly wish to hear my views, I encourage you to stop reading and take the time you would have spent here researching the issues and getting to know the candidates you’ll be voting for. And then, of course, I want you to vote.

Otherwise, what’s the point in writing any of this?

Continue reading

And the Verdict Is…

1.8       Yehuda ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shetah received the tradition from them.

Yehuda ben Tabbai taught:

When serving as a judge do not play the role of counsel for either litigant; when the litigants appear before you, deem them both guilty. But when they depart, having accepted the verdict, regard them both as innocent.

It’s a common misconception that life is like we see on TV. We believe shows like CSI and Law & Order are like life; we think that the Closer and Raising the Bar are how it really happens. And for as lifelike as they may seem (and as clued into proper practice as they are), in the end, when we sit down to watch the credits roll, they’re only TV shows. It’s easy to forget.

Continue reading