Turning Fate into Destiny with A “Sabbath Lie”

October 31, 2015

challah-lady-1445461668Can you see what this image, created by Anya Ulinich (speaking Sunday at RS) depicts?  A woman dressed in a business suit riding a Shabbat candle-fueled challah! The picture serves as an illustration for Susan Pashman’s column in the Jewish Forward, “My Big Sabbath Lie–And the Joy It Brought.

When Susan Pashman first became a single mother and sole wage-earner, she decided she needed to change careers in order to provide for her 2 sons.  So she went to law school and then secured a position in a prestigious firm.  That’s when she realized another problem: If she was going to work the expected 90-hour week, how would she find the time to provide a loving, caring home for her children?  Just then, Susan witnessed another member of the firm’s incoming cohort, explain to the boss that he was an observant Jew, and needed to leave early on Fridays and stay home on Saturdays, in order to observe the Sabbath.

Ah-hah! Read the rest of this entry »

Confinement Vs. Authenticity on Coming Out Day

October 11, 2015

For parents of grade school children, it is Back to School Night season.  This week, as my husband and I squeezed into the little 4th-grader chairs, we learned from our child’s teacher about a class-bonding activity they experienced.  The children created pictures to represent themselves as they are known to others.  Then they created pictures to represent themselves in a way that is unknown to others.  With great bravery, students presented their hidden selves to the class.  One shared her cerebral palsy, another, his parents’ divorce.  Students felt the support of teachers and classmates as they shared what might be hidden.

Even in the most supportive environment, authentic expression to others — and even just to ourselves —  can be a challenge.  It is natural for human beings to create labels to understand one another.  Yet, all too often these categories limit possibility, even humanity.  This is not new. Read the rest of this entry »