Skip to main content

your parents must have had ruach hakodesh (divine prophecy) when they named you Chaim.

So, I've gotten hundreds of messages of support and encouragement from people all over the place, but I'd like to post one message that I got recently that inspired me so much.

"Dear Mr. Levin:

I finished reading your essay in the JP convinced that your parents must have had ruach hakodesh when they named you Chaim.

Chaim – so you would have the Life force to prevail and transform “the grief that contemplates the grave by showing it grief that looks up to the stars”, in the words of the great Victor Hugo.
Chaim - because of all the lives you now help keep in this world with your message of hope.
Chaim – because of the Life force you now instill in our own community with this voice of yours that brings true healing from the bigotry and self righteousness that in many subtle and not so subtle ways says that none has the right to exist, to be, unless they are exactly like them.

I hope you know that it is NOW, at this precise moment that we need you and your clear voice to speak up. In the words of Clarissa Pinkola, “one of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and to show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. To display the lantern of soul in times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.”

It is at this very moment that we need your courageous voice, your strength and your honesty and I urge you not settle for “acceptance”, the kind that is filled with condescension; nor tolerance, the kind that rolls its eyes in artificial willingness to “put up with you”, though will not rest in its efforts to “fix you”. And I urge you not to settle for anything less than the kind understanding that leads to full embrace.

Yes, there might be times when you feel weary and discouraged. Shall despair show up at your door, it is my hope you will remember “why you came to Earth, Whom you serve and Who sent you here”.

May you go from strength to strength!"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sharing Stories With Deborah Feldman

Discussing plans for our futures, finding the humor in our similar and traumatic pasts and enjoying uncommon empathy, Deborah Feldman and I had coffee on the Upper East Side on a bright Friday morning. My time with her was a refreshing pleasure and an honor. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots. Deborah helped me with something that I’ve been trying to navigate lately. Deborah reminded that I’m not an ex gay survivor, an ex Chabad, a gay man, a Jew, an activist, etc.; she told me that who I am is just Chaim Levin — who just also happens to have an interesting story to share and an opportunity to inspire change. She insisted that we all have our own lives and personalities that we must care for, cultivate and celebrate.

Deborah had entered mainstream media a few months ago with her fascinating memoir. I haven’t had a chance to finish reading her book yet; in fact, I just started the other day. But with every page, I…

MILWAUKEE JEWISH COMMUNITY SAFETY ALERT!

I am publishing this letter today to notify the public of an individual named Tuvia Perlman and the immediate threat he poses to the safety of any and all children in his vicinity. I first met Mr. Perlman when I was 18 while attending an organization called JONAH (a Jewish conversion therapy organization that was shut down in 2015 after losing a lawsuit). When I met Mr. Perlman, we were on a retreat together called Journey Into Manhood, this retreat was facilitated by an organization called People Can Change. After this retreat, Mr. Perlman, who lived in Baltimore used to call me often, to the point where even at that time I felt extremely uncomfortable by his calls and long voicemails. Mr. Perlman as far as I knew at that time, had recently stopped being a teacher at a cheder (Hebrew word for elementary school). In a group setting that was facilitated on by JONAH on their premises in 2007, Mr. Perlman admitted to the entire group that he molested at least 2 of his 12/13-year-old stu…

Update on Tuvia Perlman

On Tuesday, I published a Facebook post about a man named Tuvia Perlman, who worked as a teacher and a choir director in Milwaukee after moving there from Baltimore. Mr. Perlman admitted to molesting multiple minors; he made this admission in a room full of people that included myself, this was in 2007. Mr. Perlman made these admissions to multiple people on multiple occasions. It was just 4 days prior to writing and publishing said post that I found out he had relocated to Milwaukee from Baltimore a few years ago and had been working with children in Milwaukee both as a teacher, choir director, and private tutor up until this past summer. What I said in that post and what I will say again here, is that it isn't something like god (or whatever higher power you'd like to refer to), that enables such a dangerous situation to happen. It's the silence of community leaders like Rabbi Bentzion Twerski who was warned by someone in Baltimore that Mr. Perlman posed a danger to chi…