Derby Line Marriage Ch. 21

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The first thing Jovita noticed as she and her girlfriend approached their destination was the opulence of the house. The wide two story structure had a double car garage, gabbles on the second floor, and brickwork covering the exterior. Jovita turned to her girlfriend, “Hanna, does your cousin live by himself?”

“Yes, Aaron is a bachelor.” Hanna replied.

“This is such a big house for one man. Teaneck must be a very rich town,” Jovita concluded.

Hanna shrugged. “You get more space for your money in the suburbs, and Aaron likes to entertain. Don’t spend all day staring at the house. He said we should go right on to the backyard.”

The pair proceeded around the house to a spacious suburban back yard. A crude shelter stood on the patio behind the house. It had interconnected metal poles along the edges and canvas for walls. The roof was a mat of bamboo slivers. The structure seemed strange to Jovita. “What is that called?” she asked Hanna as she pointed to it.

“It is a shukkah. We build it on the holiday of Sukkoth to remind us of the 40 years we spent wandering the desert after the exodus from Egypt. It stays up for 1 week. We eat in it, and single religious men sleep in it.”

A middle-aged man stepped out of the sukkah and towards Hanna and Jovita. “Shalom, and welcome,” he greeted the guests.

“Shalom, Aaron. This is my girlfriend Jovita,” Hanna replied. “Jovita, this is Aaron, my favorite cousin.”

“What makes him your favorite?” Jovita asked.

With a smile, Hanna recalled her reasons, “Aaron stood by me when I wanted to be a scribe. He also supported me when I came out as a lesbian.”

Jovita was surprised. “I can understand opposition to you being a lesbian, but what is so controversial about becoming a scribe.”

Hanna answered, “Being a scribe is a religious profession, bursa evi olan escort and therefore a man’s job in the Orthodox Jewish world. Aaron had to convince my parents to let me study the trade. Then he helped me through the difficult search for an experienced scribe who would be willing to train me. After my training, I couldn’t find work making religious documents, because I lack a penis. That’s why I ended up becoming an artist.

“You could write religious documents for Reform Jews. Reform Judaism is dedicated to gender equality,” Aaron suggested.

“I’m not going to participate in a heretical Church,” Hanna responded, smiling at Aaron to soften the blow of her rejection.

“Well,” said Aaron, “Let’s continue the conversation in the sukkah. I’m ready to eat.”

Inside, the sukkah was decorated with flowers, gourds, and some of Hanna’s artwork. The Hebrew calligraphy in Hanna’s art was shaped to form pictures. One was a bird, another a tree. The effect of making objects out of text was a subtle suggestion of form rather than a detailed copy of the subject. A folding table with three folding chairs were set up in the sukkah. Horderves consisting of crackers and spreads lay on silver platters upon the table. Hanna, Jovita, and Aaron sat down and began to eat.

“So Aaron, how did you convince Hanna’s parents to accept her as a lesbian?” Jovita inquired.

Aaron leaned towards Jovita. “I had to use halakic arguments, because they are Orthodox. I pointed out that the Torah verse forbidding homosexually specifies that a man should not lay with a man. It says nothing about women sleeping together. Furthermore, the verse can be seen as part of the larger prohibition against using birth control, because of its proximity to the prohibition against having sex with a menstruating woman. altıparmak escort The ban on birth control only applies to men, because only men are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. It would have been much simpler if they were Reform. Reform Judaism accepts homosexuality, because being with anyone you love is better than being along. A person was not meant to be alone.”

“Interesting,” Jovita responded. “As a Catholic, I also had to reconcile my lesbianism with my faith. I decided that lesbianism is a sin, but it is alright. Our heavenly father understands that humans are frail and sent us Jesus to atone for our sins. I am saved through Jesus regardless of who I love.”

“So Hanna is going to Hell, because she is a lesbian who does not believe in Jesus,” Aaron quipped sarcastically.

Jovita placed her hand on her breasts, worried that she had offended her host. “Oh no. The Church declared half a century ago that G-d has a special relationship with the Jews. Hanna and you gain entrance to heaven through Judaism even if you never accept Jesus,” she said before she popping the last horderves into her mouth.

“I’ll bring out the next course,” Aaron announced as he got up and left the sukkah.

Once he was gone, Jovita turned to Hanna. “I like him.”

“I thought you might,” Hanna said.

“Thank you for finally brining me out to meet one of your relatives. It was important for me.”

“Anything for my honey.”

Aaron came back with baked chicken, noodle kugel, candied pears, and cooked baby carrots. He laid the meal out of the table with flare. Then he set the table with dishes from a shelf in the sukkah. “Bon appétit,” he announced. As the group dived into the meal, Aaron broached a delicate topic. “I am think of moving to River Edge.”

“Why?” Hanna asked.

“Teaneck gemlik escort is becoming overrun by the Orthodox. There’s a nice Reform temple in River Edge. It’s a more pluralistic town,” Aaron said.

“I find it ironic that liberal Jews helped racially integrate Teaneck decades ago, and now they don’t want to live next to a different minority. They complain about Orthodox Jews moving in and having babies, or they flee to another town. It’s Liberal flight instead of White flight,” Hanna observed.

“Aaron, at least you have the freedom to move to a new town that suites you better,” Jovita interjected diplomatically. With the argument behind them, all three focused on enjoying their meal.

The final course was pecan pie from a local farmer’s market. It was as delightful as the conversation that accompanied it. As Aaron finished the last crumbs on his plate, he asked Hanna, “Have you told your parents yet that you are dating a Catholic?”

Hanna glanced downward, “No.”

“You really should,” Aaron said. There was awkward silence as Aaron cleared the table followed by cordial goodbyes.

Jovita glared at Hanna while they stood next to the bus stop. “What did Aaron mean by ‘dating a Catholic’? Do your parents have something against Catholics?”

“No,” Hanna replied, “They interact with people of all religions as friends. It’s just that,” Hanna turned her face away a bit, “for them, interfaith dating is more taboo than lesbian sex.”

Jovita fumed. “So that’s why you invited me to your cousin’s house instead of your parents’. You were only willing to introduce me to a safe relative.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “You decided to date outside your faith. You owe it to me to not keep our relationship secrete.”

Unable to hurt her lover any more than she already did, Hanna relented. “Alright. We can visit my parents next week for Simchas Torah.”

Jovita relaxed her arms. “Good, and thank you.”

“You’re welcome, baby. I’m sorry I offended you.”

“I forgive you.”

The two lovers almost failed to notice their bus back into Manhattan as they exchanged a long, tender kiss.

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