When I was a young teenager and full of teenage angst, I wrote a lot of poems. Looking back, they were not universally maudlin. Some of them were actually quite good. Some were even published.
What I remember about those years was how I would get an itch to write a new poem and I could not rest until I took pen to paper, to write and rewrite. I eventually discovered the joys of electronic revision, but not until I was out of my teen years, after home computers became more common.
I have recently begun to feel that itch again, not to write poetry now, but to teach.
Over 20 years ago, when I first started to take Judaism seriously, I was slapped in the face by the many inequities I found, as a woman, in Orthodox Judaism. As a way of coping, I began to read anything I could find on the general topic of women and Judaism.
Along with collecting books, I began to speak to other women who were also struggling with gender-based issues in Judaism. My conversations were informal at first, but eventually, I began to write and to teach. And I continued to teach, mostly about women and Judaism, in formal and informal adult education settings, for the next 20 years. When I taught my last class the month before we made aliyah, I assumed that part of my life was over.
My recent experience on Simchat Torah reactivated something that lay dormant within me for nine years while I focused on getting my family to Israel. Recently, the itch and the urge to teach reasserted itself. There is no question that Hashem is pushing me to begin again.
Just a few months ago, I was afraid to board my first Egged bus without my Hebrew-speaking husband. Since then, I have grown comfortable riding four buses a day. Again today, after ulpan, I walked through the shuk, bought fruits and vegetables for my family, hopped on a bus and hopped off before the stop for my second bus home, all without a whisper of anxiety.
In that respect, I have reached a new stage in my klita.
And now, with new Torah thoughts and new understandings that Hashem has been gracious to open up to me, I am ready to share again with other women.
I didn't know I would miss this.