Hearing Parshas Zachor Surrounded by Amalek

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    Hearing Parshas Zachor Surrounded by Amalek

    For some people wearing masks is not just a Purim tradition. For some people it means dressing up for the school carnival the week before, and for some it’s a daily mask that all their family and friends see, but at night they choose to take off and go to less than ideal places or engage in less than ideal behaviors. And for me, it’s the mask I must put on to fit in.
    I am commanded by Hashem, Who I try to know, and Who I love, and Who I know loves me to go and hear Parshas Zachor the Shabbos before Purim, and I want to do this for Hashem for all He does for me. It’s brought down that it’s important for me to remind me about the certain types of people and qualities that exist in the world that will never ever be okay with the fact that I exist, as a Jew, and will never ever be capable of behaving with values that I hold dear due to my yiddishkeit. This year lots of memes and quotes were going around of Representative Omar to remind us of how we exist with these Amalek people daily and we must never forget. Unfortunately for me though it was not the Rep Omer meme that resonates as the Amalek among us today, but rather nearly every person around me at shul as I listen to these few pessukim.
    I know better that it is not the people in their entirety or even through their own awareness, but rather, for some strange reason something that has just been accepted among our communities. Our communities function in a way that tell me I should not exist and they can never value the same things I do. Just as Amelek did.
    And now I have to stand here in a mask among all of you and bite my tongue and not call you out for being the Amalek in my life. You all have the luxury of having Sadaam Hussein and Hitler and Rep Omar in your mind as the Baal Korei goes on, and I just look around the room, no imagination needed, but don’t worry – no one knows this is what I am doing, because my mask will be firmly in place.
    So what secret life do I have that would make my community tell me I should not even exist? What behaviors do I do that makes all my family and friends sometimes literally sick to their stomach? With the anonymity of this article I can finally lift my mask and share my secret –
    I am single.
    Yups, I said it, but it may be scary to hear – it’s 2019 after all so I will give the appropriate warning *the following may be triggering and uncomfortable for some. Proceed with caution.*
    I am a frum, single, woman.
    How dare I exist. Just my standing in this room makes some of you uneasy. Your minds fill with things you call hopes and tefillos that this time next year I should not exist, just as I am sure Amelek went to war with Shaul with their hopes and prayers that in a years time the Jewish people should not exist.
    Oh that’s not what you mean? How can I possibly think that is what you ‘mean’? I only have what you say and how you behave as indicators of how you feel. And that does in fact add up to me not existing. Oh you only mean this part of me? Fun fact, and I hope you are sitting for this, as this may be the scariest thing of all that I have to say, and is entirely contradictory to your beliefs – I did not choose to exist this way.
    Let me explain, as I know this is an entirely new concept for many of you. I did not choose to exist as a frum single woman. It is not because I ‘am just too picky’ or because my parents are divorced or because I have bipolar disorder so or because my little brother has a genetic disorder that no one should have to agree to risk getting mixed into my gene pool (none of which are true, but you get the point). In fact, here comes the shocker – Hashem actually chose this for me. Yups, in all His love and all His glory He said this is your life right now and it’s okay and I love you anyway. But I get to stand in Shul with a few hundred people that know better than He does, lucky me!
    I shouldn’t make assumptions that they think they know better. You are absolutely right. I won’t assume. But what I will do is proceed to the Shuls kiddush and then again based on only your words and your actions decide that’s what you think. People will ask what I’m up to, if I met with the shadchan that came to town last week, tell me I look great and whatever I’m doing I should keep it up – and a variety of other things that send a very clear and distinct message ‘you as is, not okay, but do whatever you can to change yourself and your reality!’ Thanks. Message received.
    This isn’t so? You see I have years of comments and conversations and behaviors as proof on my side, feel free to try to argue another side. Because after all, you are not really saying I shouldn’t exist. You are only trying to help! The same way you tell the childless neice who has been married for 13 years at your 19 year old daughter’s bris ‘iy”H by you’ –
    oh wait you don’t do that? That would be cruel and insensitive? My bad. I just didn’t realize she wasn’t being too picky or not meeting with the right doctors or is too overweight or too overworked that made her childless, thought if she just fixed all those things she can have a baby and I’m being so kind to remind her of that.
    This above statement sounds ridiculous? Sure does. We smart enough yet to get the point, or should I explain for the really really really good intentioned people? The same way her reality, as hard as it is, is not something that can be altered by an ‘iy”H by you’ or advice to wear more makeup – neither can mine.
    But the Amalek in you forgets that.
    So I will keep my mask securely in place and just smile and nod as I get thrown comments that continue to diminish my existence. Happy Purim


    I think you’re making assumptions about what other people think about you that may very well be very incorrect assumptions on your part, despite making nebulous connections to justify the assumptions.


    People who are trying to have a baby get “you might have one if you lost weight and got healthier”, “why don’t you just adopt?” and “iy’h by you” all the time.


    When I first came back to town, I got a lot off IYHBY. I kept track and gladly returned them all by a levaya.

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