Peer Review by spurtsofdarkness (India)

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daughter of your ashkenazi ways #childofyournation

By: mia_:)


/ i am the child of twisting calligraphy / stain the cow hide and call it sacred / finger tracing my place in my siddur / 
אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ, עוֹד יְהַלְלוּךָ סֶּלָה / the words feel like home on my tongue / still, i stumble over accents and my face burns with shame as i am corrected / i bear the weight of mitzvot on my back / please, let it flood into my actions / count your pomegranate seeds and always come up short of 613 / i am the child of kiddush and kaddish and i let my language flow from my lips /

/ i am the daughter of mezuzot / kiss the doorframe of your gates / your slanting body reminds me of everything i stand for / וְאָהַבְתָּ, i have loved you / i am the daughter who forgets / spanish is more useful, anyway / but i feel a prickling shame to have forgotten my mother tongue / i am the daughter who time left behind / next may next may next may / am i the only one under the sun to have a bat mitzvah at age fourteen? / i hate being different and yet i crave it, but not in this way /

/ i am the little girl who hangs produce from the thatched roof of the sukkah / shake the lulav and don't forget to flip the etrog / i am the little girl who cannot fold hamantaschen to save my life / nor can i eat the challah that seems to always be baking in the oven / i am the little girl who asks questions / not just why do we light eight candles? / or why do we fast on yom kippur? / i am the little girl who wonders why must we always be staring into the face of adversity? /

/ i am the baby swaddled in a tallit / fingering the tzitzit between curious fingers / i am the baby with ancestors who were exterminated, like pests / i am the baby who watches yahrzeit flames dance and wonders why / i am the baby who casts her sins to the ducks / and, yet, i still let myself clap with joy when my sister spots a turtle in the water far below / i am the baby who humanity forgot about / countless events missed because people won't respect me / i am the baby who sometimes fears for her life / slurs tattooed on my forearm / will they ever fade? / i am the baby who reads from sacred scrolls, but also kindle books too / we're not that different / can i ever forgive humankind? /

My family isn't super religious, but I do feel very connected to Judaism. I find it fascinating to learn about the cultures of others, so if anyone has questions about anything I wrote about, feel free to ask! There is just so much, so I don't feel like writing it all in the footnotes, but I would be happy to answer ANY questions! <3

this is a sequel to sunny.v's elegant daughter of asia, which I definitely don't do justice. I tried to mirror her format, but I switched two of the stanzas lol. 

Message to Readers

tw: this deals with religion and references the holocaust

i haven't written about my religion in a while, so i decided to spin sunny's challenge to talk about my customs and such! :) i hope you enjoy; i don't particularly love this piece and it is a VERY rough draft, so please tell me what you think!!!!

felt like republishing, what can i say?

i didn't feel like explaining all of my references in the footnotes, so if you have ANY questions, i'd love to answer them! just ask away in the footnotes! <3

Peer Review

I love how the author conveyed a lot of things about their religion and their own thoughts about the religion, all the while maintaining the avatar of a young kid, and that is spectacular.

Maybe a bit more about your family? How they see the religion, their thoughts towards it? maybe add a part about you and your grandmother reciting prayers together, I guess it would give it a sort of warm feeling and would give it a nice tone overall. Also, the thing about a little simplifying, like I also pointed out in the highlights. Though feel free to ignore all of this crap, and just go on with whatever you feel like. <3

Reviewer Comments

Great Work! I would, of course, look forward to more of your pieces :D