Atlantic District Blog Posts
Nitzavim holds a lot of meaning for me, personally. As a parashah that states that we were and are all standing at Sinai, it specifically includes me as a woman. It tells me that the mitzvot are mine to fulfill, not as a daughter, sister, or wife, but rather as a full-fledged member of the community. I am seen and included.
My grandfather was active in the community where I grew up and held the position of President of not one but two synagogues.
Though I was not born or raised a Jew, everything in my life has guided me to Judaism as if I were being directed to a goal, as if it were beshert. I grew up in Lima, Peru, and my parents raised me in the Catholic faith. However, I found no fulfillment in that view of God or society. I asked many questions and was discouraged from doing so. I also could not abide by the minimization of women in my culture and the parallel subservience under the Catholic Church in Peru. Little by little, I found a new path...
I was born in 1961 with the last name Schwartz-- an indication to most, despite red hair and freckles, that I am Jewish. I grew up in a stereotypical, traditionally gendered, 1960s non-Jewish, white, middle-class neighborhood in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.