Elul Reflections - Day 18

on Wednesday, 05 September 2012. Posted in Elul Reflections

The Power of Silence

Mothering Dovi has taught me so much about life. Mostly he has taught me about the power of silence; speaking should be done when you really have something to say. He says what he thinks and he rarely does small talk. When he speaks, he usually has something insightful to share. Dovi is also one of the kindest people I know. For the most part he uses his words wisely.

elul 18 closed-mouth-early-15Dovi with a closed mouth. . .no surprise here.

In August 2009, I learned one of the most empowering lesson of my life. Silence does not necessarily mean disinterest or lack of caring. My assumption could have been a costly one to our mother-son connection. Living in Washington, as we did at the time, we had the opportunity to attend rallys, actively engage in politics, and to be involved in the holy work of Tikun Olam, healing the world. On this one occasion, I had planned to take the boys to a rally at Dupont Circle in honor or memory of young adults in the LGBT community in Israel that were killed while seeking a supportive environment of their moadon, community center. Dovi didn't want to go; I had assumed he wanted to hang with friends or play on his computer. I was wrong.

The outburst that followed was painful for both of us. Dovi told me that he feared the consequences of our attending the gathering. Jews are persecuted for being Jewish; the LGBT community is persecuted for their lifestyle. He was petrified. We did end up going and the entire time, Dovi made me hold him tightly. And while everything did turn out OK, we did experience one crazy man (within 6 feet of us) who yelled obscenities to the crowd before he was escorted away by police.

This experience as well as observing how Dovi walks through the world has given me many moments to pause. My beautiful son has taught me to trust the silence without the need to fill in the empty space with words. He has taught me that making assumptions based on someone's silence does not always serve us well. And mostly Dovi has taught me to trust silence a little more than I had in the past.

May we all learn from the lives of those around us.

With love and light . . . .elul 18 think

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