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Divorce, Difficulty, and Distance.

I’m not sure why I’m writing or sharing this. Maybe some form of catharsis? Who knows.

TLDR/Cliffnotes: Finally left my abusive husband four months ago, after nine years of marriage. Feel free to stalk my post history if you want to know more. I’m also Sephardic, my family is originally from Lebanon, they escaped ~50ish years ago, for obvious reasons. IYKYK. I’m part of a ‘dying breed’, for lack of a better term. My parents live halfway around the world, so while they’ve been good moral support from afar, I’ve largely been going through this divorce experience alone. Slowly starting to find community as I embark on this next/new chapter of life.

Shout-out to the various folks from this sub (and others) and local Maryland Jewish resources that have reached out. They’ve been great, and very welcoming and warm. I think I’ve found my new synagogue too, which I’m thankful for.

Today was one of those emotionally darker days, and I found myself struggling to muscle through the day. I cross state lines for work most days, and my synagogue is 50+ miles from my workplace. And so, I did what any millennial would do: hopped on my phone. My GPS told me there was a synagogue approximately 1.9 miles away from my office, and they just so happened to be hosting Mincha this afternoon. I hemmed and hawed. Was it inappropriate for me to randomly show up at Mincha at a random synagogue I’d never been to before? I wrestled with the question for hours while I tried (and failed) to be productive at work.

Hours later, I found myself in the same room as an elderly but friendly Minyan. I was, not surprisingly, the only woman there. Much to my own surprise, I found myself silently crying. The crying itself wasn’t surprising; crying has been the most prominent of my emotions throughout this divorce experience. But, I’m usually able to hold it together in front of strangers. But, today, the tears just came silently spilling out as I sat in the corner of the room.

Following mincha, the Rabbi and the President of the synagogue introduced themselves. I explained my circumstances, and they were thankfully understanding. They sat with me for a little while, and we sat in silence as they held space for my emotions.

Where do I go from here? This divorce experience has caused a ‘crisis of faith’, so to speak, in a good way. It makes me want to connect more with my Judaism, on a far deeper level than I grew up with. What am I supposed to do when I feel the need for guidance when I’m far from home or my own shul? Showing up today felt simultaneously awkward, embarrassing, but also oddly cathartic.

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Source: Reditt