a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Travel bLog #8 – Coming Down

Posted on: July 25, 2016

As much as I consider myself to be a kind, loving, caring, giving person, I have a tendency to push people away. This usually happens when I know something they don’t know that may or may not be good or bad for them, when a hard decision needs to be made, or when I come to the end of something or have to leave someone. I turn inward in a reflective and defensive way. As much as I love to cry, and do so freely, I also have a hard time making myself really vulnerable to people, especially when it feels like my heart is breaking.

Over the last three weeks I have fallen in love. I’ve fallen in love with the exhilarating, dizzying, mystifying, frustrating Torah (and all that goes along with it). I’ve fallen in deep and tortured love with the city of Jerusalem. I’ve fallen in love with Judaism all over again. And I’ve fallen in love with people who seem to have the ability to see into the most spiritual, sacred inner most parts of my soul. People who I share so much in common with, people I didn’t expect to meet and people I didn’t know were missing parts of my life. It was one of these soul friends who saw me, like they always do, tonight pulling away.

I have learned many things during my time at Pardes and I’ve grown to know several truths. And the truth of the matter is that nothing can or will come close to the magic that has happened here. I may come back to this city, I may come back to this city with these same people, but what we’ve shared can’t be replicated. It exists in this space and time and that time is coming to an end.

In just two days I will board a plane and return to my life. These days filled with study and wonder and frustration and awe and love and spirit will be replaced with life. And while I’m equally so excited to return to my wife and our life, I’m just as heartbroken and sad to be losing this intangible thing that’s happened to me here. My neshama is so full. And I am so grateful.

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