I have three topics--yes, three--to cover in this post. I will cover them in the order mentioned in the title.
First of all: At the moment, probably because I am so different, I am feeling ashamed of who I am as a Jew. I think in terms of other Jews, this is because I've never quite found one just like me (keeps all commandments "like a man," does not believe in divine origins of Bible), while in terms of non-Jews, it's just that I am so conspicuous with fringes dangling and an often-large kippah.
I am taking step to make myself conform. In the past, when I had these feelings, I would drop the practices that made me so conspicuous completely. At the moment, that's not an option for various reasons. The first step I took was to tuck my fringes into my skirt. I tried that while I was out shopping, and instantly felt more confident. To my surprise I could feel them through my leggings. My leggings are the thickest thing I have, so that means I will feel them through everything. I don't have high sensory thresholds, so that's going to drive me up a wall, but I judge it to be worth it.
when I got home, I went through my kippot, and I made a list of the ones that were small enough to wear to school/work under the new system. You know what? I came up with a list of 14! That's the nice thing about collecting something for years: no matter how you sort, you will always come up with enough of any category you want.
Second of all: I know I've said it before, but I really love to donate tzedakah. I have left the word untranslated because it's really not translatable! The closest translation I've seen is "charity," and even that doesn't really get it. See, charity carries the sense of "optional nice thing to do." Tzedakah isn't optional at all; we are commanded to give.
Once I'm working, I will be commanded to give ten percent of my earnings. At the moment, I am not working, so I don't let that part bother me. Instead, Sunday through Thursday, I give two coins if I have them, any two coins...so I guess I could end up giving anywhere between 10 cents and $2.50 over the course of the week. On Fridays, I empty my change pocket, and I donate four quarters if I have them, and whatever's left over that isn't in quarters. Donating tzedakah might be my favorite part of being Jewish.
Third of all: Tonight (and most likely tomorrow) I'm going to wear the perfect Fall Sabbath outfit. The blouse is a midnight blue, silky button-down patterned with birds' nests; it's just starting to be cold enough out to wear it. The skirt is my royal blue, silky, with the ruffle around the bottom; it will only be warm enough out to wear it for a few more weeks. I feel that this outfit screams "FALL!"
And now I must go clean etc.!
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
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- I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!