I spent the Jewish new year away from home for the first time in almost 40 years. Before the holiday began yesterday I was feeling very disjointed and out of place. Not only was I away from home, husband, and friends, I have spent the past month traveling by myself to places from another time–my childhood and my father’s childhood–spending time with relatives and siblings and their families that I have not seen in years.
I have been processing the integration of my life before I chose Judaism and my life today. My immersion in and mastery of Jewish life has overshadowed my natal identity and in effect extinguished the girl I was–cutting her adrift. Taking this long trip by myself and for myself–4K miles and 30 days–has reunited me with people and places from my past and I am overjoyed with all that I have found. I believe that the girl I lost has also been found.