Parashat: The Rape of Dinah

Parshat: The Rape of Dinah

by Shellen Lubin

December 5, 2020

Isn’t it incredible how sharing the experience makes it easier to bear? Even when the burden is heavy, it’s easier to carry with others helping to hold the weight.We need each other. We cannot be our own witnesses and allies, we cannot be our only feedback loop. We need connection, we need empathy, we need perspective, and additional perspectives. Our hearts wither if we do not have solace, our minds wither if we do not have witnesses to our stories. Equally, we need to hear others’ stories, witness their truths, to understand the depth and breadth of the world.

Here is something I have discovered. I don’t know if it’s true for you, but it is most certainly true for me. The times in my life when I am the most content with myself and my place in the world are not necessarily the most joyful times, or the most successful times, or even the easiest times. They are the times when I have good, rich time with friends and colleagues, in person or on the phone, by e-mail or computer chat, venting and spilling, digging down deeply into the stuff we are each dealing with, sharing the philosophical and psychological implications and resonances, making each other laugh about it, helping each other to make sense of it, and encouraging each other to feel it all, to be angry and sad, and make peace, and learn and grow from the experiences, no matter how fraught and painful they are. I don’t have to be happy to be happy, but I must be connected.

Isn’t that one of the most important functions of the Village Yontif? To connect us, to give us shared experiences, both ancient ritual and newly created, to allow us to hold space and bear witness for each other, to let us feel and know how we are connected?

That is how we find strength, that is how we find a way not just to know that we are not alone, but to feel it, in our bones. We are not alone. You are not alone. I am here. Not just talking, but listening as well. Do you have a story? Tell us. We are all listening.

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