Choose Positive Living with Sara Troy and her guest Elana Zaiman, on air from December 12th
I believe that we each want to better understand ourselves; make ourselves known to the people who matter to us most; deepen our relationships, and heal what may be broken between us.
We can do this by writing Forever Letters™.
Forever Letters share our values and wisdom; asks for forgiveness and offers forgiveness; expresses our gratitude and love. They are transformative, taking us to our ultimate truth, our authentic self. They enable us to live with the intention of being our best self. They are a gift of support and connection.
You can write to your parents, children, siblings, other family members, friends, colleagues, teachers, students, mentors … anyone who matters to you.
JOIN SARA AND ELANA AS WE DISCUSS THE GIFT OF A LETTER, DECEMBER 12TH
My Path to Becoming a Rabbi and a Writer
I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island in a family of six: my mom and dad, me, my sister, Sarina, and my two brothers Ari and Rafi. All I knew growing up was that women could not be rabbis, at least not in the Orthodox synagogue where my grandfather served as the rabbi, not at the Orthodox elementary school I attended and not in the traditional Conservative synagogue where I belonged, and where my father was the rabbi.
History records the first woman rabbi to be Regina Jonas of East Berlin, Germany who was ordained in 1935. In 1972, when I was 10, Sally Priesand became the first woman rabbi ordained in America’s Reform movement. l knew nothing about these women until much later in my life, and though I had no childhood aspiration to become a rabbi, I did imitate my father on the rare Sabbath mornings I did not go to synagogue. I convened a congregation of my stuffed animals. I sat them in a circle on my bedroom floor, placed prayer books in front of their faces, kippot on some of their heads, and I became both rabbi and cantor, leading services, chanting traditional melodies, announcing pages and, I believe, delivering an occasional sermon.
My mission in my work, writing, and life is to bring people together; to enable all people (especially children, elders, and those who feel marginalized in our society) to be heard; to guide people to find meaning in their lives and to live into this meaning; to question the wrongs we encounter and to have the courage to change them; to do our best to right the wrongs we ourselves create; and to appreciate how each one of us is a precious and necessary gift that contributes to the larger whole of our world.
MORE ON THE BOOK AND ELANA’S WORK