web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


What is Calling Me?


Twenties-100413-Girl

The rain is falling a bit harder. I look down at my shoes, realizing how inappropriately I am dressed for the Moscow fall. Water is soaking my shoes. I continue on.

It’s eight p.m. on a Monday evening, the drunken youth groups are not out yet, and people are walking, hidden safely underneath their expensive umbrellas. I squint my eyes in the rain and continue on. I eye the surprisingly empty benches. I observe the usually calm lake being disturbed by the angry rain.

I am staring at the Prud, the lake, and all of a sudden, I am forced to stop in my tracks. I am forced to admit to myself, what I hadn’t for so long. Moscow is beautiful, even in the worst season, worst weather. Despite everything, Chistiye Priudi looks absolutely magnificent to me. I almost say Shehechiyanu for experiencing such a novel feeling. I don’t see the angry graffiti on the benches and pavement; I don’t see wild homeless dogs running around, I don’t see the street drowning in used cigarettes.

My thoughts are so confusing! I grew up in a Moscow where the norm was to own a fancy cell phone in second grade, ride on Bentleys, spend free time at the movies, follow the identical European fashion. I am not of the generation that witnessed a shift from Third World country to one of advanced modernization.

I grew up with the privileges of a Western person. But at the same time I always lived the mentality of a third world country. Perhaps, the technological innovations, restaurants and hair salons were as advanced as Paris and Manhattan. But the mindset of the people was always peasant-like. You don’t question Putin, the corrupt Politsiya, the oligarchs or opponents who are imprisoned for longer than their sentences. You live your life and hope no one interferes.  Yet, I look around and realize there has been a change here, while I was studying in the States. There is a difference. This is no longer the Moscow, the amazing city in which I grew up. It has transformed.

The rain is beating down rhythmically, penetrating every part of my body, I don’t feel my toes, but I continue on. I spend my days at the school where I was a student, where my life was dictated by the sounds of the bell, the homework assignments of the physics teacher, the fights between girls in my class. And now I walk through the same corridors as a teacher. The students look up to me and use the respectful term that is used when speaking to a superior. Students ask me, “Where did you just come from?” I proudly answer, “America.” People are impressed. At first suspicious, the snobby girls, in their long Luis Vuitton skirts accept me. I miss Moscow. I laugh at my naiveté of wanting a different childhood.

When I first arrived in the States I tried to integrate as a student from a different school in the neighborhood, rather than a girl from an entirely different culture. But now, I have embraced my differences, and refuse to be intimidated by those who think my upbringing was “weird.” In fact, I miss the familiar walls of school. This is my home, my Rodina, why do I always shy away from it? But at the same time, I feel something calling me back? Ugh… all these feelings… so overwhelming and confounding! Why do I want to come back? Only four years ago, I was excited about not living in Russia, and now I want to come back? What is calling me?

By now my waterproof sweatshirt is soaking. I am losing feeling in my joints. But I continue on. I am trying to be honest with myself and understand, what is calling me back.

I get it, I feel passionate about the well being, growth and success of the school my mother founded. I get it, after living in America; I miss the old history and lack of entitlement of the people. I miss standing in the Moscow Choral Synagogue, where Golda Meir once stood, davening to God from a building that holds so much Jewish pride and history. But I don’t understand what is calling me here?

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What is Calling Me?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Sections Stories
Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

South-Florida-logo

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

Hebrew Academy students learn the ABC’s of safety during Hebrew Academy’s recent Safety Kid Program.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

Women learn in honor of first yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chasia Kudan, a”h.

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

More Articles from Rachel Goldschmidt
Twenties-100413-Girl

When I was fourteen years old I understood that I might never return to Moscow and live at home with my parents. While I had lived the bulk of my life in Moscow, at the start of high school I was going to assimilate into the American system of education and the world of American teenageism. I was excited.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/what-is-calling-me/2013/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: