I am a Shlucha

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When I was younger
I wanted to be-
Needed to be-
One of the women in this picture.
A fighter,
A shining star,
A blessing,
A shlucha.
I was going to be a woman who helped others,
A woman who changed the world,
One Shabbes meal at a time.
I was going to bring peace by lighting candles,
And battle the darkness which befell us.
I was going to be a shlucha.
Now I’m twenty,
Unmarried,
No children,
No chabad house to my name.
I’ve never handed out candles,
On a busy London street,
And I rely on others,
When I should be hosting them.
And yet I am a shlucha.
I am a fighter.
A warrior.
Here against all odds,
Jewish despite the obstacles,
And I have faith at times when I can’t work out why.
Each night,
When I open my siddur and thank G-d,
For the gift of another day,
I know I have helped others.
I’ve forgiven when I want to hold a grudge,
Loved when I wanted to hate,
Given when I wanted to take.
I am like the women in this picture.
I always was,
I always will be,
And you are too,
For each kind act you do.

The Simplest Mitzvah

Since I became observant, I’ve taken it upon myself to perform many mitzvot, with varying levels of success. Kosher? Easy. Davening at home? Not so easy. Davening in Shul? Wonderful. Keeping shabbes? Pretty much impossible. Tznius? Well… For lots of people, dressing modestly is one of the hardest things about teshuvah. It’s confusing and new and uncomfortable and expensive. You feel like you’re going to have to buty a brand new wardrobe and you’ll never look beautiful again, and so on and so forth.. I sympathise. I really do. But for me, tznius is the simplest mitzvah. It’s beautiful. It’s rewarding. It’s easy to understand. And actually, I didn’t have to change my wardrobe that much after all. Most of all, though, I found it simple on a psychological level. Maybe because I was already fairly tzniusdik, but I didn’t feel frumpy or unattractive when I switched from trousers to skirts, and short sleeves to long. And for this, I’m eternally thankful to G-d. Thank You, G-d for making it so easy for me to look like a bat Yisroel!