Women & Judaism

I Wish I Were Religious

A young mother posted a discussion about the religious attitude to motherhood and womanhood that ultimately went viral in Israel. Who is she and what did she say?

Her name is Adi Altschuler and she founded the youth movement “Wings of Crembo” which addresses special needs children. She also founded the Remembering in the Salon initiative in honor of Yom Hashoah. She studied at a secular high school in Hod Hasharon and received many prizes recognizing her achievements. She lit the 60th Independence Day Yom Ha’atzmaut bonfire and was named by Time Magazine as one of the future leaders of the next generation. She is married to Nadav, lives in Tel Aviv and recently just had her first son (which brought rise to the post). After the birth Adi publicized the following post:

“I wish I were religious, I’d be part of the community. I would know the neighbors in my building and perhaps even in the neighborhood. I would know family names. Other women would cook for me after the birth. Motherhood would be easier for what is one more child already!”

“If I were religious I wouldn’t give up on myself for the routine of prayers, customs and blessings would force me to have set times for myself and with G-d. If I were religious I’d be surrounded by other mothers and learn how to nurse and other tricks and tips.”

“If I were religious I wouldn’t feel I’m giving up on myself because motherhood would be part of a system of the highest values of family and the understanding that there are more important people than me in this world and that it’s a mitzvah and a blessing.”

“If I were religious I’d be happier because every night I would light candles and sing. I would be singing more altogether. I would be content because I would cherish what I have. Every morning I would say Modeh Ani (a prayer thanking G-d for returning our soul after sleeping at night), and mainly, I would not be at all afraid. I would have festivity in my life in merit of all the ceremonies and “kiddushes”. I would have white garments and I would know stories, parables and nice sayings from dead sages. I’d love to have Shabbat to protect me.”

A short time later Adi added another post as follows:

“I received so many different replies to my post. One reply was meeting, Shirley, Yehudit Cohen and her daughter Amit, who are awesome at my doorstep. They surprised me with containers full of cooked food, salads, stir fried foods and specially squeezed orange juice! I was a bit embarrassed that they took the trouble to cook and ride over especially for me. When they left I immediately thought, how I could repay them? Together with their food they served me a lesson on being able to receive help and allowing myself to accept support. Thank you my sisters. I wish I were religious.”


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