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Family

The Harm of Tshuvah: A Letter from an Abuse Survivor

People view forgiveness as the secret to healing, as if it isn’t a long painful process of flashbacks, relapsing, shame, medication, and therapy, as if there’s some easy way to heal that I have been too prideful to consider. To view forgiveness as the apex of survivors’ progress trivializes each person’s individual struggle.

Building a Home

As a former Gender Studies major, I have a lot of hang-ups about the concept of building a home. ... I don’t know what kind of Jewish household I’m going to run yet—but I do know the joys of tradition, both old and new, are hardwired in me.

The Global Value of Peace in the Home

Shalom bayit is the Jewish concept of peace in the home. It refers to the domestic harmony that comes with a solid partnership between spouses. When we work against domestic violence and spousal abuse, we uphold this Jewish value. And when our government turns away asylum seekers fleeing domestic violence, it violates a core Jewish tenet.

How Hannah Gadsby Helped Me Reclaim My Omi’s Story

I thought Omi’s story should have been collected because I thought I knew what her story was. I had created an easy narrative that both mythologized and sanctified her. Unknowingly, I forged an account of Omi as a “perfect woman” who spent her days working and her nights taking care of her son.

The (Jewish) Madonna Complex

The Jewish mother loves her children more than anything else, and in this, she wants a better, easier life for her children than she had. Whether that is as origin to our Jewishness, or as learned behavior in the face of bias and antisemitism, it imprints on our mother role and repeats across generations.

It Takes a Village

Over the years, I’ve been to countless bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies. While each one has been unique to the specific teen being honored, all of the services have been catered to the typical Jewish kid: one who can read English and some Hebrew, memorize prayers, and stand at the bimah and speak about about his or her Jewish education and life experiences. In February, I had the honor of being part of a bar mitzvah that was unlike any of the others I had previously attended. My family friend Max became a bar mitzvah without speaking a single word.

The Power of Personal Histories

As an aspiring oral historian, I’ve always gotten chills when listening to recorded interviews. I love the interviewer’s inviting questions, the way the interviewee may leap into a narrative, the chance for the listener to peer into the interviewee’s past, and the powerful, sometimes nostalgic, recollection of a story.

My Personal Imahot

When it comes to grandmothers, I hit the jackpot. My grandmothers are some of the strongest and most incredible women I’ve ever met, and because I come from a blended family, I have three of them! My grandmothers are models of power and grace, and they haven’t sacrificed their passions and values as they’ve aged. They’re all fierce defenders of justice, and I am who I am today largely because of their influence.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Family." (Viewed on October 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/family>.

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