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Kara Wurtzel
Kara Wurtzel

Losing My Religion?

I’m a feeler. I feel all the things. 

As a kid, I was often told I was “too sensitive,” “too dramatic,” and to “stop making such a big deal out of everything.” That led to me burying lots of feelings, and trying to “man up”. 

It took many years, and I’ve finally not only accepted that I’m a feeler, but I’m actually really okay with it. 

“Too sensitive”? Yep. This just means I care a lot about things and people and morals around me. It’s also called PASSION. 

“Too dramatic”? Guilty. I’m not quiet when things bother me, or people act in ways they shouldn’t. Also known as HAVING A VOICE and USING IT.   

“Making such a big deal out of things”? Hell, yes. I am ACTIVE. I like being a LEADER. I will GET THINGS DONE when others aren’t. 

Now that you’ve come along with me on 40+ years worth of self actualization, you can understand why I’m pretty open on social media, I share a lot, and am not ashamed to do so. I’m genuinely most happy when I’m sharing my thoughts and feelings with the world.

When this gets messy and weird is when things happen. And yep, things happen a lot. Pretty much all day every day. When you feel a lot, you can be upset or disappointed a lot. When you speak up, you can get upset when others don’t. When you are an active leader who likes to affect change, you get frustrated when things stay the same. 

I’ve spent the past few days upset (furious? disgusted?) about the way many religious leaders have responded to the Walder situation. I went from ranting at my friend in her parking lot the other day about the state of the world, to coming home and yelling at anyone who would listen that we’re all doomed, to crying to my husband this morning, wailing that if this is what Judaism is all about, I. Am. Out. 

My biggest problem with all of this (besides the AWFUL way survivors are being treated), is that once again, I feel like our leadership has let us down. When I read these responses I feel like every teacher who walks the wishy-washy middle line in her response, every “rabbi”  who says “Lashon hara and public condemnation killed Walder”, or advocates who publicly post heart-rending responses, while privately shutting down allegations of misconduct against public figures who have been accused of inappropriate behavior…this I cannot bear.

We have lost our way. We have lost sight of what’s important. The teacher and the rabbi hide behind the Torah, instead of using it to serve and protect. The advocate’s silence on this particular matter speaks volumes.

While there have been some incredibly positive responses (Rav Ron Yitzchak Eisenman, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Rav Chaim Navon, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz), it feels like the others are louder, have wider reach, and larger audience. 

While I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water by distancing myself from a religion I worked very hard to be a part of, and truly love with all my heart….every year, every event, every scandal, makes me have less and less faith in our leaders. This is not the religion I chose. This is not the religion I choose. 

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