Who’s That Kibbutznik in a Headscarf?! (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Who’s That Kibbutznik in a Headscarf?! (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

My daughter, Hallel, is doing her national service this year volunteering with the elderly. And one of the places she volunteers is on a secular kibbutz.
At the kibbutz’s ceremony for Israel’s Memorial Day, Hallel noticed something highly unusual. Right there, among all the secular kibbutz members, was one woman wearing a headscarf.
So after the ceremony, Hallel went up to that headscarf wearing kibbutznik to introduce herself and discovered that this woman, whose name is Tali, is the only religious member of the entire kibbutz. And she shared with Hallel the following incredible story:
“I was born on this kibbutz. I don’t exactly know how I ended up becoming religious. But when I was 15, I started fasting on Yom Kippur. And when I got married, to a man who also grew up on the kibbutz, we started doing Shabbat. We had 3 children together before we divorced, after which I became fully observant. I thought then about leaving the kibbutz, and moving to a religious community. But my elderly mother lives here. And I like it here. And also, I realized, I’m the only religious person here, and that means that I have a shlichut, an important role to play here. I give a weekly class on the parsha every Shabbat, my mother comes to it every week along with one or two other women. This year, before Pesach, I built a bonfire to burn the chametz. That’s the first time, for sure, that ever happened on this kibbutz!”
The sefira of this week is Netzach, eternity. Rabbi Meir Gueta explains that people often get confused about the meaning of eternity. “There are,” he explains, “people who call the pyramids in Egypt one of the 7 wonders of the world, but aside from being a tourist site where people get their photographs taken standing next to a camel, the person who built the pyramids did not fulfill his dream to be part of eternity, because eternity can only be achieved by impacting spiritual reality…Rather, who achieves eternity? Those people who dedicate themselves with self-sacrifice to education, to values, to the essence and spirit of Jewish life. People who dedicate themselves to Torah learning, acts of kindness, fixing the world. these people are crucial contributors to Netsach Yisrael, the eternal Jewish nation.
Reading Rabbi Gueta’s explanation of netsach this morning, I thought of Tali up on her kibbutz, giving her weekly Parsha class for three women, and getting strange looks for her pre-Pesach bonfire.

And I thought, also, of the under-acknowledged, underappreciated, but nevertheless eternity-worthy JewishMOM. I thought of you!

One comment

  1. I love this story and the thousands of other stories it represents of women (and men) doing their personal acts of courage and commitment quietly and without fanfare.

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