I am honored to be Congregational Story Teller at Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach. My last name, Maggid, happens to mean “storyteller" in Hebrew. On the Yom Kippur high holiday, I led Meditations of the Heart, a forum in which people wrote stories and read them out loud to the congregation. Here is what I read:
Change, Transition and Growth
If you ask my family if I’ve changed this year, they will laugh and say YES! My house is now full of crystals, my Jewish Star has an Om symbol, I published a book, and I speak publicly in person, on radio talk shows, and on T.V. and one of my new spiritual teachers is a fourth-generation Catholic Shaman from Nigeria.
I help people heal themselves with spiritual energy. I also teach an ancient Breathwork that moves energies fast. The breath is our life force and in the Torah the word for breath is Neshima and the word for soul is Neshama signifying the nearness of these two concepts.
The night before Rosh Ha Shana, I dreamt I was walking down a Chicago street, pushed into a media frenzy on a crowded corner. Wolff Blitzer from CNN was asking questions, holding his microphone. I tried to get away when retired tennis player, John Mac Enroe, pulled me back in, and cued ME on how to behave. With a serious look, he took my hands, lifted them up, and made me do a silent applause.
At synagogue last Wednesday, I pondered why I’m having such a hard time telling my story. My muse had disappeared. I Finally connected it to my inner struggle. Stretched with college tuition, a multitude of bills and unforeseen expenses, I hesitated to do a Mitzvah. I forgot that if we are one, when we help others we also help ourselves.
The next morning, I made that donation. Maybe it was John Mac Enroe’s cameo, pushing me through resistance, the fear of losing everything, a belief I inherited from my mother. I went to synagogue, sat down in the pews and cried connecting to God knowing I had done the right thing.
As the daughter of Holocaust Survivors, I will never forget. Yet, I understand the power of keeping dark energy away. Paying too much attention to evil gives it more power. Instead, our focus should be on bringing all faiths together irrespective of race, gender, color, or religion respecting each other’s differences. I believe my book, Beverly Hills Concentration Camp, offers something more to this movement of healing, understanding and tolerance.
My daughter, in her first college semester had a cold. she phoned me and said one of her roommates, a girl with a Jewish sounding last name made her dinner. “Oh, she’s Jewish” I commented. “No Mom, she’s German. And her grandfather was a Nazi,” My jaw dropped. The girls did not have the emotional charge I would have had. I admired their friendship. This is how it should be! We are all human beings and need to get past labels and presumptions. It’s time to heal the wounds of all our lineages. If I can change this much in one year, how much can we change the world if we chose love?