Like Mother, Like Daughter–Not So Much (2-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Like Mother, Like Daughter–Not So Much (2-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

You can watch this peptalk, or read it below.

Reflections on sending off my 20-year-old daughter to begin a year of Torah study, and Elul.

Today I sent off my 20-year-old daughter to begin a year of intense Torah study at a midrasha (or seminary).

In her suitcase she carried a lot of heavy, holy books. And among them, were the 5 books of the Torah, with the classic commentaries.

As I stood with my daughter, waiting for her bus, I remembered myself at the age of 20, around this very same time of year, travelling back to my college in Maine after 10 weeks spent at an Orthodox seminary for absolute beginners in Jerusalem.

In my college suitcase, I carried a single holy book. In Jerusalem, I had bought myself The 5 Books of the Torah, with the classic commentaries.

And I put my Torah on a shelf in my dorm room. Not that I ever, ever opened it. I couldn’t understand most of the words. But how I loved that Torah. Sitting on my shelf, jam packed with high and holy words, my Torah filled me with nostalgia for the Torah I had learned in Jerusalem as well as yearning to learn so much more.

My daughter has been hearing verses and stories from the Torah since she was a toddler. She is intimately familiar with it. As familiar with it as I was ignorant about it, at her age.

This morning, at the bus stop, I remembered that yearning inspired by the Torah on my shelf.

And I imagined that maybe that yearning from so many years ago gave birth to this young woman, who not only owns a Torah, and loves the Torah, as I did, but who actually understands the Torah.

And that reminded me of Elul.

Of all our dreams for the coming year. And our dreams for our lives. So many dreams that seem so impossibly far away.

But, as I was reminded this morning, when we hold onto our dreams, they have the power to give birth to a new reality.

6 comments

  1. Hatzlocha to her!
    On the new format of having the written option of your peptalks – I’d only watched the videos before but this morning I was awake before some other sleeping members of the family and by having the written version I could still “hear” your talk. Thanks!

  2. 20 years go / went by so fast.
    There are so many different ways to spend them.
    It’s nice to look back and know you did the right thing with the hands-on time
    you had with your daughter.

  3. Beautiful!

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