I am Vivi. My Hebrew name is רָחֵל
Having grown up Jewish, I’ve been a:
Yes to bagels, cream cheese and lox …. No to synagogue, Shabbat and kosher…
Yes to surburbia, rock and roll and “Freedom!”….. And certainly no to Orthodox religion!
Who Am I?
A woman, an American, a girl from suburbia, and always in the background, Jewish, no matter what.
I used to hate it. The persecution and suffering in Jewish history were too scary… TOO vulnerable. I tried to escape my Jewish identity.
I pursued my American dreams. A great job, a handsome husband, children, success, and yes… even a white picket fence. At one time, I got it all. Then there was divorce and my idea of the American dream shattered.
Somewhere along the way… I found myself exploring…
What a surprise! It’s been a twisty winding road and has led me to fall in love…
with being Jewish.
I slowly began to experience what had been elusive for years…
The Lovely Comfort of Belonging In My Own Skin.
Over the next few decades, I learned about Judaism, chassidus, holidays, customs, Jewish community…
It began with not eating pork and shellfish for thirty days. This was to honor the memory of my beloved young Rabbi who had just passed away. Little did I know I had stepped off the high dive in a gentle descent (actually in ascent) to a wholly new, but ancient way of life.
It took another twenty years before I became kosher and then another year or so before I began observing Shabbat.
I took on the observances, yes. But who am I really? Do I really believe all this stuff?
Did G-d really give the Ten Commandments and the Torah to Moses and the Jewish people? Did the Sea really split? Is there really a G-d who is all powerful, all loving, and all wise? Is this really true???!?
I Have Found
one step at a time as I’ve taken on a Torah life….
Love your fellow as yourself, create a Jewish home, eat kosher, fill my house with Yiddishkeit, host Shabbat meals, honor Shabbat the day of rest, welcome guests, dress modestly …
that my sense of truth, dignity and joy increase and keep increasing.
I Made The Decision…
I am a Jewish woman who loves the Torah and I do my best to live by it, one day at a time.
Slinky outfits, barbecue pork ribs, and even hot dancing at clubs…. I say, thanks for the good times,
And… now I am on a new playing field.
One unexpected perk is I’ve been saved from a boatload of embarrassment! I surely would have been that woman trying to keep my youth at age fifty+ wearing twenty-something-year-old fashion and trying to keep up with the all the latest moves…
What can I say? I am now a Jewish rebel. Out of step with the bikini world I once knew. And blessedly, growing in relationship and friendship with all my friends: Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Atheist… My world, despite the seeming rules and boundaries, has gotten bigger. So much bigger.
And keeps on growing.
Love to all,
Vivi 💖 ©