Healing Trauma Within Our Jewish Community: Special Note About Healing in the wake of October 7th

trauma, jewish, judaism, community Experiencing trauma within our community not only makes us question ourselves but also our families, our leaders, and our faith. We feel stuck with our conflicting feelings of protectiveness over our community (which is a minority that is facing increasing antisemitism) and not wanting our fellow Jews to be harmed, while wanting our voices, which have been silenced and harmed, to speak out to stop the harm from happening to others. Whether this harm is caused by sexual, emotional, and/or physical abuse or from feeling invisible within the community due to being a woman or a member of the LGBTQ community, we can feel conflicted about our faith and where we belong. As part of our work together I will help you feel more embodied in your identity and help you feel more empowered on which ever spiritual path you take. 

As a jewish woman of color I feel drawn into supporting my fellow Jews who have experienced various types of trauma within our community. Women who feel lost within religious spaces and aren’t sure how to navigate all of the feelings and experiences they have had. How to reconcile what they have been taught all their lives, which at times has been really beautiful but also has been really painful. Women who feel alone, broken, voiceless, and powerless who are looking to reconnect, find, and use their voice and truly feel empowered in their lives. Sometimes this questioning comes from sexual abuse within the community (and feeling unsafe to disclose or being ostracized and not believed for disclosing) or from day to day experiences of not being seen or heard in religious spaces. Having questions that weren’t answered or wanting to expand knowledge through study and being told “no”. These are often experiences that do not sit right with us and when voiced we are silenced, leading us to feel invisible, as if we do not matter. 

As a jewish woman who values halacha and is a member of the Conservative/Masorti community (which is a community that not every Jew accepts but is a community that accepts me multigenerational trauma, jewish, judaism, community, traum, sexual abuseand I accept it which makes feel safe, settled, and at peace) I understand how conflicting our experiences within the jewish community can be and feel. Even voicing these conflicts makes us feel guilt or shame, like we are turning against our family, community, and G-d. But it’s ok to question and to explore. To be curious about what we are drawn to and to seek resolution and safety within our community (or a community that is loving and accepting to us and us to it) and people we share values with. This may mean we leave our community of birth or stay within our community of birth and fight for change. There is only what feels right and resonates with you.

I will join with you on your path of healing honoring and respecting your empowered choices to do what feels intrinsically right for you. Along the way you will learn how to set and maintain boundaries with members of your family, friends, and even members of the community. You will learn how to become more present and embodied, so you can feel safe in your body and trust your instincts. This will help you feel empowered in the choices that you make rather than remaining stuck, frozen, or made smaller to appease others. My hope is that by the end of our work together you will feel better, more confident, and more at peace and whole in mind, body, and spirit and not fragmented. 

 

The Trauma and Pain of October 7th and its Aftermath

The events of October 7th have changed many of us Jews. Whether you are a Jew living in Israel or living in the diaspora, specifically America, the events of October 7th was shocking and terrifying. There is deep, deep sadness and grief, that has yet to go away to this day. It shows up in different forms, from anger, helplessness, guilt, anxiety, and difficulty focusing. It’s compounding, for many of us, by witnessing how easy it was, not only for the world to forget about what happened, but to attack Israelis and Jews. To generally make us feel a lot less safe in this world.

Whether you are a professional who goes into work just wanting to do your job but hears chatter around “Jews doing this” or other antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish controlling the world or dehumanizing Israelis, or you are a student on campus just wanting to finish up school and go to class, but you have protesters shouting at you. Our sense of safety is constantly being threatened. We are constantly assessing whether things are safe or not, and it’s exhausting and sad. It’s terrifying and we feel alone. We feel like we don’t have too many people, many people have lost friends, so we feel more lonely. For others we do have some community but we feel broken. For others, this tragedy, has lead to a desire to explore judaism and to be around other jews. This is a very normal and healthy response which can also help us feel more connected and safe.

As a Jewish person, who is also an Israeli citizen, but who wasn’t living in Israel at the time, I can relate to the complicated feelings of feeling afraid and upset as we well as guilty for feeling this way because I wasn’t directly impacted in terms of not being on the kibbutzim or at the Nova music festival. But it’s important to recognize we are one big family, and so what happens to Jews around the world impacts us. We don’t compare trauma. Trauma is trauma. To witness this massacre and see people making excuses for it, is very triggering, especially for those folks who have been victims of SA. I just want to send my heart out to people who have experienced SA in the past and are constantly being triggered seeing how callous people are to the survivors of October 7th. I see you, I believe you, and other peoples dehumanization is abhorrent.

I know many of us just want support around how to navigate our grief during this time safely, with a therapist where we don’t feel like we have to explain things to or hide parts of ourselves due to fear. Where we don’t feel like we have to prove we are “good Jews” or say all the right things so we don’t offend. We don’t want to feel like we have to police ourselves, we just want to be free, and thats part of the healing, to be uncensored and being in the presence of safety. Having someone witness us and our stories, to focus and center our pain, Jewish pain. To hold us and be with us in our pain, providing us with the tools we need.

 

For more information about healing from the trauma of 10/07 and it's aftermath, or to schedule a session, contact me