I wrote this as a response on this blog:
Still getting used to bloggery…..love the welcoming wee beep beep boop here….
I wrote this and lost it….thought of not bothering to try to write it again, , but it’s a subject so dear to my heart that I really want to….I so appreciate you making this a topic, Rabbi Ruth.
I live in Scotland, and there is not a huge Jewish community. I began my Jewish journey just over three years ago – since which time I have had to try to come to terms with my mother being burned to death in a house fire, my husbands increasing decline in health, (and my own)him going into a nursing home, and then last May he beamed up to heaven.
I have agoraphobia, among other health problems, and the online community has been and is a huge source of support, help, understanding, and education for me….sometimes three steps forward, two back again – learning from experience not to trust everyone ( I have always been a little naive, and still am, aged 59. It’s a learning curve)
I have learned to try to remember not to jump into things without thinking properly, first( though I still do, sometimes); I have learned that it’s not a good idea to compare myself to others….one thing I remember reading early on, and which stuck with me, was that G-d will not ask me whyI Was not more like Moses: rather, why was I not more like me? Or words along those lines.
Trial, and error. Keeping going. Doing what I can, and not giving myself a hard time over the things I cannot – yet, who knows? – do….and one thing I do want to say is that I am observant; up till now, Ive always sad that with ‘becoming’ as a qualifier….which never felt right, as it was me comparing myself to others, and always, always coming up short. There will always be Jews who are more observant, and less observant, to me; I see it more as building on a foundation.
My way would very definitely not suit many, or perhaps even any, but it is just that – ‘my way’. It’s the best that I can do, under my circumstances.
There is a Rabbi in Scotland who visits Jews who for whatever reason cant get out; I keep in touch with him. I know he would love to visit, but right now, Im not ready for that. My flat is a mess….as am I; I know that that is something which really doesnt matter, or shouldnt matter, but right now it does…….maybe in the future.
I do have a wonderful Rabbi, with whom I communicate, and she is supportive, helpful, and unbelievably kind and understanding. I have several Jewish friends, with whom I connect, and my online community is a huge source of support, learning, humour, and many other things. I love to read, and books are something I do indulge in.
All in all, all things considered, I insider myself very fortunate to have the sources and resources I have.
And apologies for repeating myself….Ive talked about my life, here, a few times, and don’t mean to be ‘all about me’….just trying to explain how I manage in the circumstances I find myself.
Thanks again, many, many thanks for the lins in your article.