Stacey Aviva Flint
Stacey Aviva Flint

Return 5782

Here we are again, in the season of Teshuvah. Many translate this as repentance and look to apologize to those they have wronged during the year. But Teshuvah comes from the shoresh (root) shuv, meaning return. What is the teshuvah or return needed at this time, almost two years into a pandemic and seemingly constant social unrest? We need the Teshuvah of returning to ourselves. Returning to our core selves, exploring them, and knowing ourselves better than before. Our collective hearts, spirits, minds, souls, and bodies need our viduy, pleas for forgiveness.

For all the times we ignored our guts and exiled our hearts, rachim aleynu.

For all the times we allowed others to control our destinies, time, resources, and talents and just melded into a mold, rachim aleynu.

For all the times we ignored our bodies, depleted its resources, pushed it to please others, for contorting, assimilating, and asking no questions, rachim aleynu.

You are our Father, the only true father we may have known, consistent, true, compassionate, provider, and confidant.

Like a tender shoot, we are rising, pushing our heads through the hard surfaces of life. Shine your light on us and nourish us with dew from shamayim. Gently tug at us when we want to withdraw into the shadows. Propel us into the fields you created for us to flourish in, so when our spirits are finally summoned, we can say, we returned to ourselves.

Tizku L’shanim Rabot (Wishing you abundant years).

About the Author
Stacey Aviva Flint is a longtime nonprofit and Jewish professional. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of a Congregation in Colorado. Stacey has a BA in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters of Urban Planning and Public Policy for UIC (CHICAGO), and Certificates in Jewish Leadership and Jewish Education from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Stacey began her career as the Policy Director for Chicago’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), advocating for housing reform, criminal justice, and Jewish/African-American dialogue. Stacey went on to specialize in Economic Development as Senior Director of Real Estate Development for Affordable Housing, Mixed-Use Spaces, Brownfield Redevelopment, and New Market Tax Credit financing. Stacey is passionate about Jewish African American relationship building with current membership in the MOED of Jewish Federations of North America, Alliance4Israel, a Board Member of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois, and JFS Colorado. In her spare time, she nurtures a college student and a teenager while speaking and writing nationally on Antisemitism and Jews of Color. Learn more about Stacey: Watch her ELI talk: Many Faces – One Community Read Stacey's interview with the Intermountain Jewish News Watch her Juneteenth 2021 Dvar No Liberation without Water at
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