Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reflections: Day 3

A "Jewish" Thing To Do -- Taking Off The Masks We Wear

For me that means bringing forth hidden love and compassion.

(At least that is what I so often mask; generously showing my deep caring. I vow to do better this year, 5771, to show it.)

Has anyone not heard the story attributed to Rabbi Susya that follows.

Says the Rabbi --

"In the world to come I shall not be asked" Why were you not Moses?" I shall be asked"

"Why were you not Susaya?"

Her is another short anecdote.

My stepmother, a German Holocaust surivor (by way of China, not the death camps) visited me once when I was going through my "pagan phase."

Intent on affirming my non-Jewishness to her, I proudly showed off the altar I had set up in my bedroom with goddess artifacts, crystals, incense and so forth.

"See, Mom," I boasted, proud of my new identity, "I'm not Jewish anymore!"

"I believe you are fooling yourself," she said in gentle, true motherly fashion.

(She was always both gentle and in a true motherly manner.)

"You cannot not be Jewish! You were born to it."

"Besides, said she, "you have Sabbath candles on your new pagan altar.

And, they are sitting right there on it -- in your Sabbath candle holders!"

Moral of the story:

Some of us need to bounce around awhile to find our truths.

P.S. I'm still using that same Sabbath candlestick holder on that same pagan altar decades later. Only now I know myself to belong wherever I belong in my heart while my roots remain firmly rooted in the heritage from which I came.

Formerly, I thought I had to "quit" one in order to belong to the other.

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