Cracks in a Holy Vessel

Pressure to Procreate Makes Miscarriage All the More Painful

Lisa Anchin

By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)

Published March 11, 2013, issue of March 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 5 of 5)

And suddenly I was there, thrust back to the person I used to be. I was that girl, trying to survive the prison of her own mind, trapped by the things they did not tell her. But now it was 10 years later, and I could grasp the horror of what happened. The force that had swept through me returned, and it knocked me out completely, because the relief had turned into shock and grief. For the first time, I cried for my perfect child.

It’s been many weeks since I learned about the picture, the one I cannot bear to see. There is a hole tearing my heart. I grieve the loss of joy and life, of motherhood stolen and brutalized; I grieve the loss of reason and sanity, of the lives of girls, barely women, helpless in the face of religious law.

There are times when I can’t stop crying, haunted by the relief I felt at the death of my own child. I don’t know if the grief will ever stop, because I don’t know how to ask my baby for forgiveness. I don’t know how to tell him that things should not have been that way, and that I do cry for him, often now. I don’t know how to reach out to him, to show him that the love was there, only the strength was gone.

I don’t know how. I don’t know how to do this. This is the thing they never told me.

Judy Brown wrote the novel “Hush” under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil. “Inside Out” is her essay series about life in the ultra-Orthodox world. It is based on true events, but her characters’ names and identities have been changed. Some are composites, comprising several real-life people. Visit her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JudyBrownHush


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.