Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Thoughts on Being the Jewish Convert Mom

Almost suddenly, I've realized that where I thought I was empty, I'm full. My point of view here on the blog was once as a woman going through a conversion, then as a Jewish woman navigating life as a convert, navigating life as a divorced convert, navigating life as an Israeli, navigating life as a mom ... and now?

Now I'm navigating life as a Jewish woman watching her children grow up in a completely different universe than the one she grew up in.

Every day I realize how completely and utterly unprepared I am for parenting Jewish children, but I also realize how lucky I am being able to watch my kids grow up with the gift of being members of Am Yisrael. I came late to my destiny, they'll grow up knowing theirs.

Here's to another adventure!

Monday, March 11, 2019

On the Backs of Women: Sheli v'shelechem shelah hu.

New favorite quote/piece of Torah?
My Torah knowledge and yours is actually hers.
Sheli v'shelechem shelah hu.
שלי ושלכם שלה הוא
The whole of the story goes like this about Rabbi Akiva and his wife Rachel:
He went back and sat for another twelve years in the study hall. When he came back he brought twenty-four thousand students with him. His wife heard and went out toward him to greet him. Her neighbors said: Borrow some clothes and wear them, as your current apparel is not appropriate to meet an important person. She said to them: “A righteous man understands the life of his beast” (Proverbs 12:10). When she came to him she fell on her face and kissed his feet. His attendants pushed her away as they did not know who she was, and he said to them: Leave her alone, as my Torah knowledge and yours is actually hers.
I read this in Eishes Chayil, and it came at the culmination of the book in explaining the culmination of what it means to be an Eishes Chayil. All that you do for your children and your husband and family and community, from dawn until dusk, working, and providing, and tidying, and everything else you do to allow those you love to become their best, most amazing selves, all comes back to the Eishes Chayil

The world is built on the backs and strength of women, of wives, of mothers. And that is quite the responsibility and point of pride. 

I'm gearing up to write a longer review of the book for publication, and I've got so many highlights, so many questions, so many thoughts. Stay tuned, it's coming!