To all the Women Living in Palaces by Yocheved Rottenberg

To all the Women Living in Palaces by Yocheved Rottenberg
It’s Purim night and I need to go to sleep, but I just can’t. I can’t go to sleep, cuddle up in my world, while I know that other women are crying themselves to sleep tonight.
I know Purim is a day of happiness. I know that we’re all trying to be happy, trying so so hard. But I also know that for many women, it’s an overwhelming battle. I think of all my friends who are single mothers, mothers that need to carry an immesurable weight of a whole family on their own small shoulders. It feels unbearable at times. I think of the torture it is for the childless couples to walk through the streets, teeming with adorable costumed children, and wondering why they’re the only ones walking alone.
I think of the mothers who sit at their Purim seuda and pretend to ignore the stabbing pain of the child who is not joining their meal. I feel along with the adult children who are in the process of healing and cannot join their parents. I feel for the children who have left their home, for the children who won’t leave their home. For the children who are drunk not only on Purim. For the women sending out picture perfect Mishloach Manos with adorable children dressed up matching and feels like it’s all one large farce, for her life is in shatters. The parents whose children bring home friends who look like they’re dressed up for Purim all year. I feel for the woman whose husband who is sitting at the table is nothing like the man she wants to be leading her meal, and for the husbands who don’t even show up at all.


  1. Thank you Jenny. I read an article today celebrating Jewish women on International Women’s Day. Each woman listed had achieved immense success in a public facing role, in male-dominated spheres. The women in Ms Rottenberg’s column, and the women you celebrate daily on your blog, were sorely missing. Let’s raise a lechaim today to the women who have such strength and endurance inside them, even in the face of adversity, and to all those who don’t feel strong or special at all – we know they are all important members of our community just by virtue of having neshamos, aka holy sparks of Divine light inside them…

    • JewishMom

      We should always celebrate the women around us! March 8th is just a reminder 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post…for acknowledging all of us struggling women who are in pain. It helps just to not also be invisible.

  3. what happened to the rest of the essay? Chana Jenny, you posted this on Instagram and there were some more parts that made this whole essay a masterpiece. should I cut and paste them here?

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