You are cordially to attend a reading of Yiscah Smith’s recently published book, Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living.  In the author’s words, “A memoir of the forty years I spent struggling with my own spirituality, gender identity, and commitment to living true to myself.”  A Q&A period and book signing will follow Yiscah’s reading excerpts from her book.
Tuesday, 22 July, at 8:00 pm sharp, in the Beit Midrash at the Conservative Yeshiva, 8 Agron St., Jerusalem

Yiscah Book FRONT Cover





Inspirational Thoughts for the Week

ON SEEING, from Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo, Rav Sholom Brodt, Parshat Shelach

The holy Baal Shem Tov taught: “A person can see awesome things in the world, but he/she blocks his/her eyes from seeing, with one’s little hand.”

On another occasion the Baal Shem Tov explained to his students, “just like a tiny coin held close to the eye can entirely block out your view of the enormously huge sun, similarly your view of the physical world can block your view of the spiritual world.”

The Raabad in his sefer “Ba-alei HaNefesh” says, “Open your eyes and see the image of your Creator.

My Story – 40 Years in the Wilderness

My story is not simply a tale of personal triumph over inner demons.  Rather, I am telling my story in order to, with the help of God, inspire and help others who are mired in obstacles — people for whom achieving a life of authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness feels impossible.  I, like many individuals, was paralyzed by fear, shame, and low self-esteem for most of my life.  Like me, these individuals find themselves unable to make the leap of faith they need to honor their own inner truth.  Many people, deep inside, yearn to somehow catapult past their personal demons, the forces strangling, suffocating, and wringing the life out of them.  My demons were gender identity confusion and the passionate desire to live a spiritual life within the Jewish tradition that conflicted with it.

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