Discovering our Jewish “Anchors”

By Barbara Litt

I grew up a Reform Jew, and the High Holy Days were when we attended services religiously. I find that the depth of my Jewish anchor changes as I age.

First, there was my marriage to Richard, a Brooklyn boy with a Yeshiva education. How wonderful to find a besheret who shared a religious background! The noticeable changes to my life began with a kosher wedding and building a kosher home. After my grandma died, my mother said, “Now you can marry anyone you wish.” She meant any religion, of course. With my Jewish sense of humor, I told her, “And a woman is all right too.” My anchor – my Jewishness – was defined by open-mindedness, liberal thinking, and humor.

Second: we secured Jewish after school education for our two daughters. Later, our youngest, Tamara, chose a Jewish Studies college minor. Thus, through our children, the anchor was dropped further.

Third: family. By marrying into Richard’s family, we shared many more weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other simchas than we ever would have in my family alone.

Fourth: my eldest daughter, Danielle, dropped her own anchor in Israel. She studied, embraced Modern Orthodoxy, married, made Aliyah, and now lives with her husband, Moshe, and daughter, Aya, in Be’er Sheva. This impacted the depth of my ancor significantly, as well as the anchors of Richard, Tamara, our families, and our friends. (I went to the Beit Din with Danielle to prove our Jewish heritage, armed with a family tree, pictures, and documents, about my great-great grandfather, who was once the head rabbi of Romania. We were congratulated for being so well prepared.)

Fifth: what’s next? I don’t know, but I am here asking others for forgiveness and praying that Hashem allows me to continue to realize opportunities and to drop my anchor further still.

Finally, Shana Tova! May your anchor be secure in 5778.

About Barbara Litt

Barbara Litt’s blessings include but are not limited to: family and friends, playwriting, acting, reading, writing, swimming, biking, yoga, teaching, humor, the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, BJ, Israel, and Skype.