Wednesday, August 7, 2019

El Paso: 'Do Something!'

Jupiter; now Saturn: Have you been watching The Planets on PBS? It's a new, fascinating series that explores and explains everything you always wanted to know (or not) about our solar system.

Abq Jew has been watching. And thinking about Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets. And thinking about El Paso, Albuquerque's down-the-block and across-the-street neighbor. Which this week suffered an immense tragedy.

A new simulation suggests our solar system's giant planets,
Jupiter and Saturn, could have played an important role
in helping life get a foothold on Earth.   
(Image: © NASA/JPL)

How, Abq Jew hears you ask, could there possibly be a connection between Saturn (particularly) and El Paso?'s Sarah Lewin wrote (in 2016):
Life on Earth Can Thank Its Lucky Stars for Jupiter and Saturn 
Without Jupiter and Saturn orbiting out past Earth, life may not have been able to gain a foothold on our planet, new simulations suggest. 
The two gas giants likely helped stabilize the solar system, protecting Earth and the other interior, rocky planets from frequent run-ins with big, fast-moving objects, researchers said. 
In other words, giant planets appear to have a giant impact on giant impacts.  
Thus - Jupiter and Saturn protect Earth from asteroids, comets, meteors, etc that could have destroyed life (or could in the future destroy) life on Earth.

Everyone sort of remembers that Jupiter protects us.
But we forget that Saturn protects us, too.

Here in America, we Jews are (to a great extent, but imperfectly) protected from white supremacist antisemitism.

First of all, by the African-American community, at whom most American sinat chinam (unwarranted hatred) is directed. You know -


And also by the Mexican-American / Latino community. We forget that hatred of them protects us Jews, too. But we were reminded this week.


At a memorial for the victims of the shooting in El Paso, Tex., on Tuesday.
Calla Kessler / The New York Times

Bringing us down to Earth - Simon Romero (see Hate in NM: March 2019), Caitlin Dickerson, Miriam Jordan and Patricia Mazzei wrote in The New York Times:
‘It Feels Like Being Hunted’: Latinos Across U.S. in Fear After El Paso Massacre 
After 22 people were shot to death at a Walmart in El Paso over the weekend, a Florida retiree found herself imagining how her grandchildren could be killed. A daughter of Ecuadorean immigrants cried alone in her car. A Texas lawyer bought a gun to defend his family. 
For a number of Latinos across the United States, the shooting attack in El Paso felt like a turning point, calling into question everything they thought they knew about their place in American society. 
Whether they are liberal or conservative, speakers of English or Spanish, recent immigrants or descendants of pioneers who put down stakes in the Southwest 400 years ago, many Latinos in interviews this week said they felt deeply shaken at the idea that radicalized white nationalism seemed to have placed them — at least for one bloody weekend — in its cross hairs. 
“At least for Latinos, in some way, it’s the death of the American dream,” Dario Aguirre, 64, a Mexican-American lawyer in Denver and a registered Republican, said about the impact of the killings on him and those around him. 
Mr. Aguirre moved to San Diego from Tijuana when he was 5, and was raised by his grandmother in poor Mexican neighborhoods. He enlisted in the Air Force, and later became an immigration lawyer — a classic American success story.
A vigil in El Paso on Sunday. Latinos across the United States
expressed alarm about radicalized white nationalists placing them
in their cross hairs.
   Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times

And many clients have told Mr Aguirre:
 ‘We’re the new Jews, we’re just like the Jews.’
“It’s quite a transition from being invisible to being visible in a lethal way. It’s something new to my community. We are used to the basic darkness of racism, not this.”

These are the Nine Days - the first days of the Hebrew month of Menachem Av. This coming Shabbat we will note, and beginning on Motzei Shabbat will observe, the Fast of Tisha b'Av.

These Nine Days have been especially hard in America. In Gilroy. In Dayton. And, alas, in plenty of other American cities. But especially in El Paso.

On Tisha b'Av we Jews traditionally remember our Holy Temples that were lost - and, at least in our hopes, begin to rebuild.

Tisha B'Av
Transforming Grief into Action
Sunday August 11     1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque
5520 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

On Sunday, August 11, we - a coalition of New Mexican Jewish organizations and individuals - invite you to gather in Albuquerque and observe Tisha B'Av, the Jewish fast day of communal mourning.

This day is traditionally a remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. Tisha B'Av is also a day Jews mark and mourn brokenness, loss, and shattered ideals.

We feel compelled to reflect on the contemporary tragedies and atrocities committed right here in the U.S.

We must turn our attention to the disaster and brokenness of this nation that hunts down, detains and deports immigrants, separates families, cages children and turns away asylum seekers.

Together we will explore our communal culpability in this tragedy and ask honestly: where do WE stand in the face of this cruelty and violence? Join us to study, read, sing, bear witness, and build our collective New Mexican Jewish voice to take action.


Organized Locally by Bend the Arc Jewish Action: Moral Minyan New Mexico, Jewish Bridge Project of New Mexico, Jewish Asylum Seekers Initiative, Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Congregation Albert, as well as committed unaffiliated individual organizers. Space generously donated by JCC Albuquerque.

Organized Nationally by T’ruah, Bend the Arc, National Council for Jewish Women, the RAC, J Street, HIAS, and Torah Trumps Hate in response to a call for action by United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country.

Jim Morin, MorinToons Syndicate

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