a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self


Posted on: March 21, 2011

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ

אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם

שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ

וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

This Blessing starts off like all Jewish blessings, Blessed are you…The last verse, though, speaks specifically to where I am right now.  “…who has enabled us to reach this occasion”.  The Shehecheyanu is said on happy occasions, on Holidays and when generally good things happen in a person’s life.  Last night I couldn’t remember the entire blessing so silently, in my bed in my new, safe apartment, I thanked God for allowing me to reach this occasion.

I moved this weekend.  I have a new website, and I had a huge boost in my writing career by working the Red Carpet at the NYC GLAAD Media awards for a publication I write for, Velvet Park.  In addition to that, I feel genuinely happy and safe. 

For the past several months my living situation has been what can only be described as sheer hell.  I won’t get into specifics but being afraid to enter my home past dark, fearing my neighbors, and the inability to sleep has put stress on my life; personally and professionally.  My work environment suffered, my health suffered (I’ve been sick for 3 months), and my writing outside of this blog has been at a standstill.  Last night, for the first time I went to sleep and I felt light.  I laid in my bed and felt what can only be described as peaceful. 

In my opinion, your home is your safe space.  In a city as stressful and as ugly as NYC can be (there’s a story there) you need a place you walk into and feel the worries of the city melt away.  For the first time in over 6 months I felt that.  As I bid the movers adieu and was left in my new space empty except for the mountains of boxes I felt an incredible peace come over my being.  I woke up this morning to the sound of rain instead of shouts.  I left my building for coffee and someone wished me a good morning and I felt they were being sincere and not ogling my body.

So last night, when I laid in my new place and I thought of the people who helped me get here; my parents, my friends, my partner I thanked God for bringing me to this joyous occasion and blessed his name for allowing me to be here. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

28 Days until Pesach.

2 Responses to "Shehecheyanu"

You are absolutely correct to recite the prayer but you forgot to Thank yourself for moving. The home is always a place of peace and you must be AT peace in the home so that your mind will be at calmness and even keeled so that you are Peaceful throughout: mind, body, & spirit.

I am glad to have found your site:…I am Jewish and my Husband is Not but He is

Looking to Learn Hebrew and Learn More Torah to be more aware. Maybe your site will help him.

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