My mother is, without a doubt, the strongest woman I know. She can’t exactly lift weights over 3 lbs, but she can raise two very high-maintenance daughters as a single mother, work full-time as a director at a Jewish nonprofit community center, date, and take care of herself and her values.
My mother is my number one support. She gave me a Jewish education as best she could just to have me reject it later in life. She came up with the feminist idea of labeling each table at my Bat Mitzvah with the names of the matriarchs so I could see the significance of the women that my religion is based off of. When I went to Israel, she shared with me all her experiences from living there for a year and told me how much she misses a country where she felt at home. This summer, she is going back. She is a fountain of knowledge on Judaism and I need that to write for this blog. I know the lingo for feminism, but I consider myself uncomfortably ignorant when it comes to Judaism. In more ways than one, the conversations I have with my mom on the get, halakha, and holidays make the intersection of Judaism and feminism that I write about possible.
This Mother’s Day, I want to let my mom know what she does for me. I realize that sometimes, the most feminist act of all is letting the women in my life know how much I appreciate them. Too often, implicit sexism stems from women being unappreciated or unmentioned in day-to-day life. In telling my mother (and my stepmother and my grandmother and my aunts and my sister) that I appreciate them, that I notice them, that I see them, I can express my gratitude this Mother’s Day.