Written by my 17 yo daughter….
It’s frosty out, but still we sit outside under the stars
Laughing and enjoying Mommy’s fresh cooked meal, munching on challah slathered in honey.
Eight small beacons of hope twinkle in the window
And excitement is in the air as the sound of presents being opened mingles with guitar.
It’s perfectly silent as the sound peals through the air, ushering in the new year.
Everyone’s faces are pressed into their siddur, or their eyes are closed in concentration and thought.
When did all that beauty turn into something so ugly it scarred a beautiful girl for life?
When did it start mattering if she wore black knee socks or pink ones, if her bag was a Kipling?
Why did asking questions have to be met with dirty looks and “‘because Hashem said so, that’s why’?”
Why is wearing pants so big a sin that the fabric gets stares all the way down the block?
What can anyone possibly say to justify peers throwing her possessions off her desk onto the tile?
What is the purpose of lecturing her simply because she dares question, because she dares to have ideas?
Judaism is beautiful in so many aspects, with fascinating stories and magnificent traditions,
But it is so ugly to anyone who struggles.
It can rear its ugly head at anyone who does not fit one or another mold.
Judaism is awe-inspiring, but Judaism can also cause inhumane cruelty and wickedness
Almost anyone who sees that chooses to ignore it
And this is the biggest problem that needs to be urgently corrected- immediately.