A TRUE JEW…mini skirts & all: Part 3 of three

(Part 3 of a three part series. Here’s a quick recap of 1 and 2)

For years and years, I did not want to be Jewish. My rejection was a defense to the terror and horror that the Jewish people faced through history.

It was the vulnerability that terrified me. I always knew nothing could really change that I was Jewish. I didn’t want any part of anti-semitism. So…as much as possible, don’t be Jewish!

At some point in my early 30’s, I became open to G-d and became spiritual, not religious. When I had my first child, I began a soft search for a home in Judaism. I wanted my children to have just a little something, a little spiritual place to belong.

I found more than I could hope or imagine.

The burning question…

Vhat?, as my grandma Yeta would say with her Russian/Yiddish accent.

What is more than I could hope or imagine? 

When Cinderella puts on the slipper and it fits just right. When a baseball player feels that home run slide right off the bat, when a friendship clicks, and when you meet that guy or gal and time seems to stand still.

This?

NO…

Unlike these peak experiences…

Falling in love with being Jewish happened slowly; it snuck up on me.

I’ve found sustenance. Its light has not died down and I sense there is no finitude to its growth.

Here are a list of words to try to capture this light:

Belonging, family, deep joy, blessed boundaries, strength, music, possibility, G-d, mercy, kindness, foundation, beauty, paradox, unfathomable, anchor, container, tenderness, oneness, mitzvah, fun, familiarity, Torah, connection, holy, divine, Shechina, presence, dance, jokes, food, spirit, pride, humility, holy chaos, wisdom, order, instructions, hope, faith, trust, peace, and down to earth. Making the earth holy.

As an aside, I was the only little girl who didn’t belong to a Synagogue amongst my young Jewish friends, the one Jewish girl in my  group of Italian Catholic friends, the only disco lover in my rock- n-roller friends. I was more mature, less mature, drank more, drank less, too creative, not creative enough… I often felt like I didn’t belong.

But here I fit just right. In Jewishness… all the different “brands”. We are Secular, Orthodox,  Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Democrat, Republican, Russian, Ethiopian, Mizrahi,… I don’t care. We are one.

If it stopped here, I wouldn’t have thrown my hat in the ring.

But the great sages teach…

We are ALL one. People of all different religions and beliefs.

It’s not academic. It’s experiential. I have comfort in my own skin and stronger connections with people of every background. Perhaps the greatest surprise is the other worldly delights I experience as I continue to add mitzvahs to my life. 

As crazy as it seems, I am finding power in vulnerability. The looking the worst in its face and saying, you can’t change me. I know who I am.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, my Yiddish speaking grandparents… Yeta, Froim, Rifka, Lou, my mom and dad Sonny, Sam, and yes…

ME TOO.
I am a Jew.

Love, Vivi. © 

💞Addendum: After this post, I received requests for more on this topic. I put this together to fill in the gaps: “But how exactly did you fall in love with being Jewish?” 

P.S. Here’s a micro glimpse into the minutes before Shabbat. Please join me in celebrating.

Did you enjoy this? I’d love you to join us!  SUBSCRIBE HERE  to join our mailing list. 💞
 

Woman in Sunset Photo by StockSnap, Other photos from Canva.com

6 thoughts on “A TRUE JEW…mini skirts & all: Part 3 of three

  1. Susan Bodley says:

    Another good offering. Thank you, Vivi. I especially like the list of words to capture the light. Very appealing list.

    • Vivi says:

      Thanks Susan! There are so many precious things, which one to focus?? I’m glad you liked the list and felt it captured if even a little. 🙂

  2. Linda Disselkamp says:

    Tell us how you found your spirituality! It’s such a big part of you today. You spent a lot of words telling us how you rejected it, but not how you reversed your position. I’m dying to know.

    • Vivi says:

      OK! Thank you for your question! Which are you more interested in… coming to believe and trust G-d in general?? or finding: that home, G-d, and JOY IN Judaism?

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