There really are no words….

…even though there are so many.

I haven’t even been able to collect my feelings during/after reading the book I just finished a couple of days ago, then the shooting in Cali happened, and the broken part of my heart opened a little bit wider to just accept the sadness.

If I could paint a picture: it would be of a broken heart with roses and flowers laying around the edges, on the outside, below the heart with blood just dripping and tears would be the rain that would fall down in the painting that would cause the blood/rain to get mixed up and become such a sad, artistically representation of a mess.

Is it a dangerous time or a brave time to choose to be a Jew at this moment? I’m seeing so much fear. Yes, there are a million reasons to fear (just like fear anything else we fear in our lives), but we need to be brave. You can’t live life fearing every single corner you walk down. That’s just not even right… and that’s giving power to the enemy, and that’s exactly what they want. What happened in the past and what is happening now does not scare me away from wanting to be a Jew. I want this so badly. A Jewish song has always been in my soul and I am finally singing to the tune of it. I am finally embracing a world that has been missing for a really long time. I am feeling passion where I’ve lacked before. I see G-d and G-d is in that light within all of us and all over the world prompting us to do good, be good, and to carry on day to day.

There’s a really sad representation of something or another with the shooting happening on the last day of Passover: a shot to our freedom. Another (unnecessary and terrible) life lesson that freedom isn’t exactly free, and what do we have to give up in order to have? It is yet another reminder that we need to keep fighting. It was just yesterday that the Holocaust happened, #NeverForget? We live in a totally different time where–for some reason–we are marching backwards: women/lgbtq rights are being singled out once again where rights are being stripped away, and minority groups (Jews, immigrants of any kind) are being targeted for all kinds of antisemitism. It will never really go away, as there will always be people in the world that spews out so much hate that even the brightest yellow stars in the night sky will turn black, but we can do something about limiting how much is out there…give everyone a wake up call, make those who have earmuffs on–take them off–and listen before it’s too late. And if we keep doing the same thing over and over again and things still continue to sour, how about lets try something different and see what happens? We really need to start acting fast.

How have these acts effected me as a future Jew? It has made me more emotionally aware and in-tune with the terrible situations. It makes me want to proudly express my star of David anywhere I go. Speaking of which, I have not taken off my star of David necklace since I got it in December and my chai necklace hasn’t come off since April of last year. Every day I fall deeply into my faith, and I value living life…representation of why I never take them off. As far as everything else goes, I am not scared to go to any of my Jewish locations, they’re part of my favorite places to be. I want to be a part of the Jewish future, it will be my pledge, to help change the world and make it a little less anti-s. That’s why I am here. All in due time.

Going back to the book that I read “Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler” – the true story of Trudi Kanter. What a book, what an experience to just read the book. It was so visual and heart breaking that you could visualize exactly what they were going through… which was fear. Fear of walking down the street and being caught, fear of having their belongings taken away, fear of their own life being at stake. Trudi was one brave woman as she did everything to find her way through the system to rescue herself, husband, her family and her hat business that kept them to being able have the money to make deals to keep their life going. There were so many risks involved.

I can’t believe that book was once out of print for a really long time until someone found it and decided to republish it again. I was so lucky to have gone to the bookstore in the mall–that I haven’t been to in ages–to find this book… (once again, my intuition told me go, that I would find something there) and, I did.

This book inspired me to create a play: I wrote the overall synopsis, beginning and ending planned out. It may take me a while to work on it, but the story is there.

This is how we’re going to keep our past alive to teach the future….by telling stories.

Love Always
Karen Maeby

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