Parashat Yom Sh’vi-i Shel Pesach tells the story of the last days of Passover. The Jewish people witness the parting of the Sea of Reeds, and God delivers the Israelites from the Egyptians. In celebration of this miraculous rescue, Moses and the Israelites sing Adonai, a hymn to God’s power: “The Song of the Sea,” which includes “Mi Chamocha,” words that are incorporated into today’s daily prayer service. Then Miriam the Prophetess, Moses and Aaron’s sister, picked up a timbrel, and she leads the women in song and dance.
Miriam is not a Prophetess in the literal sense of the word – she is not a teacher nor speaks for God but lives her life as an example. As our foremothers did, when at a crossroads in our own lives, we must decide which path to pursue. Do we follow a path with which we are familiar? Or are we brave enough to try a new route? Change is difficult, unknown, and scary. But with our eyes open and our hearts free to explore, we can discover so much. There are new opportunities and new friends to make. We will realize we are stronger than we first thought. Life can become more exciting.
Over this past year, we have been forced to make changes in our lives. What was “normal” 18 months ago is now just a memory. Making decisions about how to incorporate our jobs into our personal lives, who is in our “bubble,” what is the best way to greet our family and friends, and what to cook since we can no longer eat out, are some of the choices we have been required to make. In a year from now, will these changes still be a part of who we are? What have we learned about ourselves? Are we better off for the circumstances that were forced upon us?
As I conclude my WRJ Board service, I find myself reflecting on how much I have grown over the last seven years. I remember being in awe of the many women who came before me. They are smart and talented and have risen to positions of leadership I could only dream of. I learned that I, too, am a leader. I served on many committees, task forces, and as the WRJ Treasurer. Over the years, I studied, taught others, made decisions, instituted changes, and became one of the voices that add to the continuous success of WRJ. I was fortunate enough to travel to so many beautiful cities and meet so many extraordinary women. Many of these ladies have become my mentors, teachers, and friends. I hope I am a role model for others who come after me. The choice I made so many years ago to take a new path has not always been easy; however, it has been a rewarding experience and one of the highlights of my life.
If you are faced with taking a road less traveled, please do so. Trust in and immerse yourself in new ventures. You may discover that this is where you were meant to be.
Lisa Singer has just concluded her term on the WRJ Executive Committee. She is now a member of the WRJ Chai Society and on the WRJ Central District Board. Lisa is married and recently moved to the Columbus, Ohio area to be closer to her son and “daughter.”