a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Counting the Omer with Locally Grown-A Cross Post

Posted on: April 15, 2013

From Compassion to Endurance

This week of the Omer we transition from week three to week four, from compassion to endurance. It’s a fitting transitional phase because it has been my experience that one cannot exist without the other. In order to be truly compassionate people we must have the endurance to do so.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on this transition of the Omer and thinking about my life and ways that my compassion has and has not endured and inevitably my mind goes back to October of 2012 when Super Storm Sandy devastated much of the shoreline of Queens, New Jersey and Staten Island. Like thousands of people I was catapulted into action and spent days in the cold weather, in the dark delivering food, water and supplies to people affected by the storm. Even as the subway stations roared to life I remained in The Far Rockways for another day. I suppose you could say that compassion drove me to endure.

I returned to work and had what I can only describe as a crisis of faith. Working in Jewish non-profit I sometimes have the naïve idea that our work is supposed to change the world, that we’re to live our values of tikkunolam-that we’re supposed to make a difference. How could I make a difference sitting in an office before a computer?

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