Sunday, August 18, 2013

Trust Yourself: A #BlogElul Post

Dear Golda,

You've always been my favorite Israeli politician, but I don't think it has anything to do with politics.  I think it's because you remind me of my Tante Laura, my grandmother's older sister.. The two of you were about the same age and the way you pulled your hair back with combs was the same way she always did it.  And those black clunky shoes?  Clearly you had the same sense of style and shopped in the same kinds of stores as she did, even though you lived in Milwaukee and she lived on New York's Lower East Side, on Second Avenue, above Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home.

When I first moved to New York nearly 11 years ago, my mom loved the fact that I, too, lived on Second Avenue, even though it's 30 blocks north of where Tante Laura and Uncle Max lived. Ironically enough, my synagogue is on Second Avenue as well -- even further north, at 79th and Second.

When I was there a few weeks ago, one of the congregants who leads the second-day Rosh HaShanah services asked me if I would chant Torah at that service.  Although I haven't chanted Torah in 37 years (yes, the last time was at my bat mitzvah), and his question struck fear in my heart, I understood that just being asked was an honor and I didn't want to say no.  And so, Genesis 1:20-23 (the fifth day) is mine.  One of the cantors has made a tape for me, and I've got my work cut out for me during the next few weeks.

I'm sure you can appreciate, then, how glad I was to find this quote attributed to you:
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
As I work to learn to chant those few lines of text, I will think of you and trust that I can successfully achieve this goal. Thanks, Golda, for the inspiration to rise up and make the most of myself, which is exactly what the High Holidays are all about. 

With much fondness,

~ JanetheWriter.

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima,this post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.