Posts Tagged: rosh hashanah Results 14
The Days of Awe are rich in opportunity for Jewish feminists who see themselves as activists for transformation, both personal and collective. It is striking, even ironic, that on the first day of Rosh Hashana we read the story of a catastrophic feminist failure. Sarah and Hagar are rival wives; one has what the other lacks. Instead of joining forces against a ruling patriarchy, they taunt and abuse one another in a power struggle whose unhealed consequences reverberate to this day.
Rosh Hashanah prayers, as depicted in the 18th century // Copyright Wikimedia Commons
This past summer was the first time I can remember — maybe since childhood — where I didn’t have to wear spandex, shorts, Spanx, tights or some other thigh-chaff-resistant garment. I’ve naturally lost weight since winter, about a pant size or two. Now, each time I wear a dress or skirt, I leave my apartment in shock that my inner thighs are actually touching, sliding against one another skin to skin, without pain.
In Rosh Hashanahs past, I focused on changes that required adding a new practice to my Jewish life. Nine years ago I bought a second set of dishes. Eight years ago I committed to weekly Torah study sessions with a partner. Seven years ago I began using the mikveh. I’ve made less daunting changes, too, like promising to light the Shabbat candles closer to the proper time, which worked well in the winter months, then not as well the rest of the time. The list goes on and on. Some “resolutions” stuck better than others. (The mivkeh lives on; now that I have four kids, the study sessions not so much.)
This Tisha B’av I joined a few colleagues and about a hundred Muslims and Jews for an interfaith break fast at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, NY. As I sat at the table and ate the delicious halal and kosher food that was served, I realized that the two religions share much more than most care to understand.