Starting to Perspire

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Lovely Ashland Oregon, from my balcony, enrobed with smoke

So, my Bat Mitzvah is coming up quickly, on September 29th. I am starting to get really nervous!

I sent out invitations online. I set up an appointment with the caterer. I bought an outfit-a royal blue sleeveless pantsuit, that I love, for my Bat Mitzvah.

I’m aware that at this point in my studies, I cannot back out. I believe that I will do fine, but maybe just fine, and not great.

Between learning the Hebrew Aleph-Beit, and memorizing my Torah Portion(Exodus 33 12-23), and writing an essay that is supposed to be inspiring and meaningful, I’m freaking out a bit. Or, maybe more than just a bit.

The smoke in Ashland continues to be oppressive. I went away for a week, to the Bay Area, and was delighted that the sky was mostly blue and clear. I got used to it being this way, and was shocked upon my return.

Basically, it’s so smoky, that you have to stay inside, or wear a very well made mask.

It doesn’t feel like a normal mode of existence, when you can barely breathe outside, and the mountains are hidden with thick gray smoke.

Having been studying Judaism, I’ve obviously been confronted with the whole G-d thing. Who is this guy?

I have a feeling that I will be as confused and curious as I am now, when I’m on my deathbed.

I’ve gone from being agnostic, to believing in the existence of this Being we call by many different names. In Judaism, there are 72 different names for G-d. Each with different attributes.

The Shekhina is the feminine, protective side to the Divine.

I can’t explain why there is so much suffering in the world, or why bad things happen to good people and vice-versa.

I’ve just had enough what I’d call mystical experiences to believe that there is something within us and all around us that is with us at every moment. Especially the uncomfortable, unhappy ones, and He’s rooting each of us on.

Of course each of us is entitled to believe what we believe, and we have many different reasons for those belief systems.

I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, or that Karma necessarily exists.

I do believe as humans we have the ability to gain some perspective even in the most difficult of situations. That we can take the bad and find little pockets of good to help sustain us.

It’s tough being a human being. Thank G-d for the special people in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

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Beautiful day in Half-Moon Bay, in California

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