R. Julie Gordon (PEP '12) recollects:
Here are some of my thoughts after my experience davenning with Women of the Wall (WOW) on May 10, 2013.
I was exhilarated on the day after my bat mitzvah when I learned how to lay tefillin through the wisdom and care of Bert Cooper, z”l, our Albert Lea, MN para-rabbi. I felt empowered and joyful. Safely ensconced in our community and our shared relationship with God. My Baba had given me my Zayde’s tefillin. On that day when I held them in my hands, we both cried. She said, “Zayde would be so proud that you will be using his tefillin as he laid tefillin six days a week.” I remember those words every day as I wrap them around my arms, even now 40 years later, the soft leather straps worn thin and replaced twice. The scrolls checked and rechecked by sofrei stam. I am the only person on my mother’s side of the family who lays tefillin and I do it with care.
Last week, on my 56th birthday, I was preparing to lay my Zeyde’s teffilin, and to wrap myself in his memory, as I feel commanded to do this mitzvah. But, for the first time, I felt afraid. Continue reading