Elul Writing: If it’s broke, fix it yourself

Here’s another installment in the Jordan Braunig writing prompt extravaganza. It’s not too late for you to jump in, people!

PROMPT 5: Each of us comes to this with an element of brokenness, how can the arrival of this month allow us to imagine an ascent and a return to fullness?  What are the deep challenges that you face in shaping yourself this month?  What stone-carving-hard-work are you willing to do?

Ahhhh, the challenges I’m facing. Nothing too major, just trying to understand who I am. I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

My work for Elul (and beyond) is searching for a better sense of what I am meant to be. Over the past few months I have had the utter joy of encountering some people who are so exactly right in their own skin, it’s as if every molecule of them is lined up perfectly. They could not possibly be anything other than what they are.

I do not feel that way. I want to.

Lately I’ve come clean about my desire to deepen my Judaic study, an itch that’s been growing for several years now and that waxes and wanes but never seems to go away. Over the past several months I have been more public about this question, for better and worse. Now there is practically an army of people who have gotten on the “Naomi should be a Rabbi” bandwagon, which is lovely. I am often on that bandwagon myself. And yet, the stone-carving for me is, I think, to discern whether the bandwagon would exist if I were the only one on it. It’s great that my friends support me in the aspiration to become a Rabbi, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the encouragement.

But ultimately I’m the one who has to do the studying and make the sacrifices and find the money. I need to know that it’s a journey I take on for its own merits, a covenantal choice, rather than an ego-driven one.

I have doubts and certainties all at the same time. The stone-carving, soul-carving work is in waiting patiently to see when things come into focus and all the molecules line up.

2 thoughts on “Elul Writing: If it’s broke, fix it yourself

  1. yitzrikpa says:

    If a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, then the stone carving is not to know what you should be in the future, but who you are in this moment. The future will arrive step by step.


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