Ships at Sea: Holding Onto Each Other

Rabbi Aviva Richman

Parashat VeZot HaBerakhah

When I was ten years old, I would lie awake in bed wondering how I could unite the Jewish people. This is obviously a grandiose, naive and probably misguided ambition, but for me it stemmed from growing up with a foot in a number of corners of Baltimore’s Jewish community: a liberal havurah that met on Shabbat in living rooms; a hassidic shtibl saturated with niggunim; a newly founded Orthodox Zionist day school that believed in teaching girls Gemara starting in sixth grade, just like the boys. I could see the beauty of Torah in all of these places, albeit in different ways, and I wanted everyone else to see that too. Now I know it’s not so simple, but in some ways I still feel driven by the intensity of that childhood dream. (5783)