My Jewish world has always been one of binary choices. Am I in or am I out? Will I take on all or nothing? How can I possibly receive the Torah if I cannot commit to everything within it? Even the phrase “breaking Shabbos” implies: Shabbos is either broken, or it’s not.
Lately, though, I have been realizing in swirling pieces: life is not binary. I’m not ready or able to take on the entirety of halakha, to receive all of the commandments, to definitively say “This is what I’m doing and who I am.” I may never be! I’ve tried making those proclamations before, signing on the dotted line, but the black and white conclusions I reached were false, forced, and fell apart under the weight of a world that is not black or white but many, many shades of grey. Still, I don’t want to walk away from Torah and halakha, either; that world has become a part of me, and I love it fiercely and dearly. I realize there is true value in commitment, to making a decision and keeping your word. But I also believe in ambiguity, in complex realities, in contradiction. I’m slowly learning that maybe I am at my best with my feet forever navigating grey, complicated spaces.
A blessing for a running catch of the Torah, for those who are always moving and seeking: may we too receive the Torah this year, and every year, with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our might. May we be secure in our lack of security. May we live fully within our Jewish identities, however challenging that may be. May we embrace Torah and a Jewish life while we embrace uncertainty and doubt. We must exist between all and nothing, and dance.