One of the most powerful stories of female solidarity in Judaism is the Book of Ruth.
It tells the story of Ruth’s devotion (and conversion) to Judaism and in particular to her mother-in-law, Naomi, as Ruth stays by Naomi’s side during such difficulties as migration and poverty.
Ruth’s story makes me think about the concept of solidarity. To me, solidarity is about unity and support. It’s as much about our global efforts as our individual ones. And it’s available to each of us to practice and experience every single day.
Isn’t it amazing to know you are supported in ways both visible and invisible while also being able to mindfully support others?
In honor of Shavuot and these support principles, here are three ways to cultivate solidarity in your life:
- Solidarity with global community
There are workers throughout the world who are struggling to achieve safe workplaces, living wages, and social protections. There are people suffering from poverty, exploitation, and abuse. That’s why organizations such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee that are helping to address and solve these issues are so important.
Action step: You can get involved by donating your time or money to their efforts. (And a portion of all proceeds from Jewish Food Hero goes directly to the JDC.)
- Solidarity with female friends and family
On a more personal level, the women in our lives are likely facing a number of demands on their time, energy, and resources. We’re all struggling in our own ways with something, however small.
Action step: Take a moment to think of one or two female friends or family members that could use an extra boost this week. Support them with the gift of your presence and full attention during a conversation, a small gift that reminds them of their uniqueness, or a heartfelt note telling them how amazing they are.
- Solidarity with self
It’s nearly impossible to support others if you don’t first support yourself. Many of us treat ourselves like enemies with the ways we talk to ourselves, sabotage our own efforts, and thwart our own desires.
Action step: The more we can create harmony within ourselves by giving ourselves the support we need without judgment, the more support we can offer to others. Think of one thing you can do this week (or even today) to cultivate your solidarity with your self.
Kenden Alfond is the creator of Jewish Food Hero, the website that helps you explore beautiful details of Judaism and connect to yourself. Together we’ll create meals that are good for your body, your soul, your family, and the world. Together you’ll create meals that are good for your body, your soul, your family, and the world. Join Kenden here to receive a free Jewish holiday calendar.