The world feels overwhelming. I am so grateful to have friends and colleagues who are speaking in nuance and subtlety. Yet, the general noise and voices I have encountered are speaking in absolutes – right and wrong, good and bad, oppressor and victim. It all feels like too much.
Many years ago, I was going through a particularly hard time in my life. Nine years after leaving my ex-husband, he took me to court and I was once again fighting for custody of my children. I was on the phone with a colleague, and she could tell that my voice was breaking.
This past week, I had the privilege of leading a training at The Center for Safety and Change, a domestic violence shelter in Rockland County, New York. I walked in, thinking I was going to to facilitate a training on cultural competency and working with people who leave insular communities.
As I sit here re-reading this Yom Kippur reflection, I notice that this may be overwhelming for some, it discusses requirements of arranged marriage and the practice of hair-shaving for religious purposes. Please read with care and put it aside if it stirs up too much.
I am not one of those people who look at the New Year as a time to write up goals or resolutions. To me the Jewish New Year has always been about reflecting, noticing where I am, what is working, and what I would like to change. It is a time to observe what is, and figure out where to go from there.
In the Book of Esther, which is read on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we find that after Esther finds out about the plot to kill the Jews she invites her husband, the king, as well as his advisor Haman to a banquet.