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Hanna waited excitedly at the front door to her parent’s Teaneck shul for Jovita on a Thursday afternoon. At the start of their relationship, Hanna was reluctant to introduce her girlfriend to her family, but today Jovita was finally going to meet her parents. First they would attend Simchat Torah services. Then they would go to her parents’ house for dinner and spend the next two days there. Hanna’s eyes lit up when she saw Jovita approach the shul. Jovita was wearing a modest white shirt that went up to her neck and down to her wrists. A black broomstick skirt covered her legs all the way down to her ankles. Hanna’s own broomstick skirt was tie-dye and her shirtsleeves stopped just below her elbows.
“You look great,” Hanna said when Jovita reached her.
“I wanted to make a good impression with your parents,” Jovita replied. As the couple hugged, Hanna could feel the crucifix that Jovita wore beneath her shirt.
Hanna lead Jovita by the hand through the front doors of the synagogue. Once inside, Jovita’s eyes drank in the lobby decorations. There was a metal bas-relief tree on one lobby wall. The leaves were engraved with the names of donors who contributed in honor or in memory of loved ones. A glass encased bulletin board hung nearby. Jovita read the notices as Hanna silently gave her space to explore this new surrounding. The first paper was about a pledge drive for a local day school. The second paper was a letter from the congregation’s president supporting Israel and the right of Jews to build in Judea and Samaria. Below those pages was a notice about a protest in front of the Metropolitan Opera for the next Monday. The rally was to object to the Met’s performance of The Death of Klinghoffer.
Jovita turned to Hanna with questions about what she read. “Where is Judea and Samaria?”
“That’s the Israeli name for the West Bank. Jordan dubbed the region the West Bank after conquering it during the Israeli War of Independence, and the rest of the world followed Jordan’s lead ever since.”
“Why is it necessary to stand up for the rights of Jews to build there. Can’t anyone build on land if she buys it first.”
“You would think so, but most nations don’t agree. They condemn Israel whenever it lets Jews build in Judea and Samaria. They won’t even allow for construction to accommodate natural population growth. Without new homes, young couples can’t start new families. The international community insist that the area must be cleared of Jews in order to have peace. Since those who oppose construction are motivated by a desire to keep the Jewish population low, their opposition boils down to a mild form of ethnic cleansing.”
Jovita quietly changed the subject. “Why are people protesting The Death of Klinghoffer?”
“That opera is about Palestinian terrorists who killed an disabled elderly Jewish man on a cruise ship. It glorifies the terrorist and demonizes the Jews. It’s disgraceful that the Met would put on such tripe. The West Australian Opera won’t show Carmen because the characters in it smoke escort bursa tobacco, but an anti-Semitic opera is fine. To the cultural elites, smoking is beyond the pale, but killing Jews is a legitimate position.” Hanna glanced at the date on the protest notice. “Hey, the protest is this Monday. Do you want to go to it together.”
“I’ve got to work late every day next week to make up for taking today and tomorrow off,” Jovita declined. “How about I send a donation to support the cause.”
“I don’t think there’s a charity associated with the protest. It was put together kind of ad hoc.”
Jovita looked again at the notice. “It says Congressrep Peter King will be there. I’ll send him a campaign contribution with a letter thanking him for attending the rally,” Jovita promised.
Hanna kisses Jovita on the cheek. “Thanks. I’ll be thinking of you while I’m at the demonstration.”
Jovita put her hand on Hanna’s triceps. “You have all these people to fight just to assert your basic rights. I never realized being Jewish was so difficult.”
“Well, that’s one reason we’re called the chosen people. Hashem is tougher on us than on any other nation,” Hanna explained. Then she lead Jovita into the sanctuary.
The sanctuary was divided into separate men’s and women’s sections by a low glass wall with etched scrollwork. Jovita and Hanna sat together in the women’s section as the Simchat Torah service started. The first time Jovita went to an Orthodox Jewish service she was completely lost. On this second experience, she was more prepared. Hanna had gone over the service earlier in the week. Jovita brought her own copy of the Artscroll prayer book with post-it notes in it with instructions for the service. The notes marked out the most important prayers in the service. Jovita whispered those prayers in English and skipped the minor prayers so that she could keep up with the congregations Hebrew speed reading. The preparation paid off. Jovita found the service somewhat moving, while her previous experience with Orthodox pray brought mostly anxiety.
At the end of the service, the rabbi brought out the Torah scrolls. Leaders of the congregation passed the Torah scrolls to the men’s section where the male congregants paraded them up and down the aisle while singing Hebrew songs. At one point, a couple of men laid two Torah scrolls on a table that was between the men’s section and the women’s section. Two women picked up the Torah scrolls and danced them down the aisle of the women’s section. Soon both men and women proceeded out the sanctuary and into the shul’s social hall with the Torah scrolls. Hanna and Jovita joined the procession.
The social hall had a wooden lattice dividing it into a men’s half and a woman’s half. Members of each gender danced in their respective sections. Each group formed a large circle and held hands as they danced. The dancing alternated between speeding up and slowing down to keep pace with the singing. People joined and left the circle at random intervals as bursa merkez escort they felt like it. Sometimes a circle got to big, and a small break away circle formed inside the larger circle to accommodate the extra dancers. If the dancers became fewer in number again, the circles became one again. Jovita found the whole experience joyous and exhilarating. After half an hour of dancing, Hanna and Jovita were both out of breath. They went out to the shul lobby to look for Hanna’s parents.
As they waited in the lobby, Jovita asked Hanna about the experience, “Why were there walls separating the men from the women in the sanctuary and the dance hall?”
“Oh, that’s the mahitza,” Hanna explained. “It separates men from women so that men do not share a pew with or touch a menstruating women. It also gives the women privacy to dance without men ogling them.” Hanna spotted her parents and waved them over to the couple. When they were close, Hanna made introductions. “Mom, Dad, this is my girlfriend, Jovita Martinez. Jovita, these are my parents.”
“So good to meet you,” Hanna’s mom declared as she placed her hands on Jovita’s shoulders and kissed her on the cheek.
Hanna’s father gave Hanna a hug and waved a greeting to Jovita. Jovita waved back. “So, Hanna hasn’t told us much about you. Where are you from?”
“I grew up in Poughkeepsie, but now I live in Brighton Beach.”
“That sounds nice,” Hanna’s father said. “Tell me, are you Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform?”
“She isn’t either of those,” Hanna interjected.
“Reconstructionist?” her father asked Hanna.
There was awkward silence for a minute and a half before Jovita gave up on Hanna answering the man. “Actually, I’m Catholic,” she volunteered.
Hanna’s mother gasped slightly as her face began to pale. Hanna’s father spoke to Hanna with a hint of anger in his voice. “We forgave you for being a lesbian; we even supported you when you wanted to become a scribe, but this … this is too much. What will you do if you want to marry. No respectable rabbi will preside over an interfaith marriage. Oh, and don’t expect us to be at the ceremony. We won’t consider it an event to celebrate. Have you even though of how complicated your futures together will be. She can’t even be buried in a Jewish cemetery. You’ll have to spend eternity apart.”
Hanna meekly defended her position. “Dad, I love Jovita, and I’m staying with her even if that means you won’t support us. We can get a judge to marry us if we get that far, and if we can’t be buried together in a cemetery, we’ll just get cremated.”
Hanna’s father stood up straight as a rod. “I’m sorry Hanna, but you are turning your back on your people. I cannot accept this, and neither can your mother. Jovita is not welcomed in our house.”
Hanna nearly screamed at her father. “If Jovita is not entering your house, then neither am I. We’ll stay at Aaron’s until Shabbat is over. Goodbye.” With tears streaming down her cheeks, she pulled Jovita by the bursa escort arm and ran into the shul’s coatroom for some privacy.
Once they were alone in the coatroom, Jovita cradled Hanna in her arms. She gently kissed away a tear that was lingering on Hanna’s jaw. Hanna looked at her with thankful eyes. Jovita tenderly stroked behind Hanna’s ear before kissing another tear on her face. Then her tongue darted up to follow the stream of tears that streaked her lover’s left cheek.
Hanna craned her neck to invite Jovita’s tongue lower. Jovita followed the signal and licked a trail down Hanna’s neck then moved her tongue back up and over to Hanna’s right cheek. Hanna purred contently. She softly caressed Jovinta’s bosom in response to her loving moves. Soon, Hanna was kissing all over Jovinta’s breast through the white shirt. Jovita rubbed her fingers through Hanna’s pixie cut hair. Her own long locks cascaded down her back and along the sides of her breasts. Hanna untucked Jovita’s shirt and slide her hands beneath it. She rubbed Jovita’s belly before moving up to cup her breasts over her bra.
Jovita reached behind her back to unclasp her bra. Then Hanna explored her newly freed breasts. The peaks were already swollen with pleasure. Hanna took one bud, then the other, between her fingers and playfully rolled them. Jovita whispered a moan into Hanna’s ear as she pulled off her lover’s shirt. Hanna stepped back and removed her bra while Jovita discarded her own shirt and bra. The two lovers stood bare breasted before each other. They could still hear the faint sound of religious singing coming from the social hall.
Hanna and Jovita approached each other for a passionate kiss. Jovita’s tongue flicked lightly along Hanna’s lips as Hanna’s hands delved into the valley of Jovita’s chest, passing the crucifix along the way. Hanna cupped the bottom of Jovita’s right orb before sliding her hand around the side and up to the top. Next, she spread her fingers and dragged them across the top of both breasts. Finally she brushed her fingers down the left side of Jovita’s bosom and continued further down until she reached the edge of Jovita’s skirt.
Jovita responded to Hanna’s hands by taking her girlfriend’s tits into her hands. She fondled them roughly, causing Hanna to inhale deeply with intense pleasure. Hanna’s hands slid around to the back of Jovita’s skirt on either side to massage her buttocks. Jovita pressed herself closer against Hanna. Their crotches merged. Jovita longed to remove their shirts and panties so that their naked sexes could grind together without any barriers between them, but she was aware that they were in a semipublic place where they could get caught. Instead of risking full nudity, Jovita brought her mouth to Hanna’s left nipple to suckle it.
Hanna moved her hands to the back of Jovita’s head to cradle it as Jovita alternated between sucking the left and right nipples. Her womanhood began to moisten and swell, demanding more with pure physical lust. Hanna hooked her fingers in the top of Jovita’s skirt.
The lovers were interrupted when the coatroom door opened. A Hassidic man stopped short in the doorway staring in shock at the two topples women. The girls stopped their love making and giggled as they picked up their clothes. The embarrassed man fled by the time they were dressed again.
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