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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Sorry I Neglected your Jewish Identity, Cousin

A letter to my American cousin who's going out with an Italian girl.
my cousin

We are sorry that our idea of contributing to kiruv has been limited to buying a ticket in an Oorah raffle. Oorah is great, but that should be just the beginning, not the end of our involvement in helping people like you see the beauty of our tradition.

Dan, I am sorry that Judaism as you know it is an empty shell and so you have no qualms about leaving it behind. I and my community are at fault that you never got to experience the beauty of Shabbos, the intellectual pleasure of Torah learning, or the inspiration of Rosh Hashana davening. With the days of teshuva upon us, I will make an effort to right my ways. It may be too little too late for you, but at least there is hope for our younger cousins.

Your parents think that Birthright will remedy 20 year of neglect. I am just not willing to take that bet any more.

Leah Aharoni is a cofounder of the grassroots movement WomenForTheWall.org, dedicated to preserving the sanctity and tradition at the Western Wall in the spirit of Jewish unity. A business coach, she helps female entrepreneurs build profitable and emotionally rewarding businesses. Aharoni lives with her husband and six children in a suburb of Jerusalem.

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