Front cover of one in a generation Volume 1, biography of Rabbi Berland

The last few weeks have been so challenging, on so many different fronts.

Domestically, I’ve had kids going in meltdown because the school they love is closing down; and other kids getting suspended twice in three days, apparently because of a long list of misunderstandings and crossed wires that means they now hate school and are getting stomach aches in the morning.

Personally, I’ve had a whole bunch of weird health issues going on again, plus a pervasive feeling that I completely ran out of energy again and can’t continue like this anymore.

Professionally, my great idea to bring a whole bunch of creative Jewish women from different backgrounds together on my blog bit the dust when the most ‘religious’ people I contacted to participate decided to chew me out for publicly supporting Rav Berland on my blog.

Rav Shalom Arush said a while back words to the effect that getting secular people to make teshuva is peanuts compared to getting the already religious people to make teshuva, and boy, was he ever right.

It wasn’t just that they’d been reading a whole bunch of lashon hara and slander online and believing it was 100% true (probably all from the ‘frummest’ websites out there…)

What made it worse is that they were completely unwilling to even consider any of the information and research I’ve been pulling together over the last year that paints a very different picture of what’s going on.

They think they know what they think they know, and anyone who is daring to challenge them about what they think they know is also ‘bad’. Score one for the closed mind of apparently frum, apparently ‘enlightened’ people.

All my hopes to start building some achdut and unity in my little corner of the blogosphere, and all my hopes that Jewish women could start to repair all the breaches and divisions between us, kind of vanished the last couple of weeks.

The husband has been having his own issues, too.

So altogether, I feel like I got hit by a tsunami, then a typhoon, then an earthquake – and Shavuot is still two weeks away!

The period of counting the Omer is often really tough, as it’s the time when God is shining a very bright light on all our bad middot and icky character traits, and asking us to do a little better. The last few years, I’ve dreaded counting the Omer, because it’s typically been weeks of craziness, stress and one difficulty after another.

I’ve been groping around trying to find the emuna that is meant to keep me going through these times, but I think maybe it got shoved somewhere into a dark recess under my bed, when I cleaned up after Pesach.

The last couple of days, since L’ag B’omer, things seem to have lightened up a little bit, thank God. I can type again, see straight again, not feel so disgustingly stressed out of my skull the whole time.

These are big things to be grateful for.

But I’m still sad that my attempts to reach out, and across the divides in the Jewish world, haven’t really worked out so well.

I think most of us want to connect a lot more than we’re able to at the moment. The yetzer is knocking itself out, trying to keep us Jewish women away from each other and mired in stress, worry and gossip, because it knows that Jewish women brought the redemption in Egypt with their love, compassion and emuna, and that we’ll bring it again this time around, with God’s help.

How?

I don’t know.

But who said we have to have all these details figured out ahead of time?

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