I had a dream. In this dream I was on stage and the performance ( that I had been attending) was over. I was lingering up there, maybe organizing a few things, when the two sounds techs off stage began talking with me. They were playing Jewish Geography . (DO you know this person or that person..?) and I was answering them.
Off to the side, I saw my sister. She came with her two little girls to visit me. I was annoyed. I was in the middle of networking. I was busy! I felt stuck. How would I be able to manage both conversations ( and the 2 different dynamics, one public one private) at once?
I walked over to my sister and started talking to her when a teenage kid appeared and handed us a gift. It was two tickets to the next event so that we could attend together.
I looked at the tickets and I started to smile and then I threw my head back and laughed. This is what I needed! I realized how ridiculous I had been acting. What was more important than spending time with my sister? And what was more precious than little children and motherhood? Those two tickets – that gift- brought me home and back to my senses.
I woke up from my dream with the image so clear in my mind that I grabbed my notebook and wrote it down. Something about it was extremely important. Before I even got out of bed I called my sister Devora. I wanted to connect – to act on this feeling of clarity.
Only two minutes into the conversation she said “ Rif, you need to come down to Atlanta. We’re sending you a ticket. And just like that, my dream started to come to life.
A couple of months ago, I had gotten a call from Devora asking me if I would come to Atlanta where she lives to lead a women’s event that she and her friend Nicole were planning. I gave her a huge yes! even though I wasn’t quite sure what the event was. I knew the name was The 4 Auras. I figured when the time got closer I’d hear more.
That morning, she asked me to fly down to help them work the website and set up the infrastructure of the event. Less than a week later I was on a plane munching on Jalapeno chips and reading a new book basking in the excitement of something brand new.
But I still didn’t know what it was.
Then I met Nicole.
Meeting Nicole is like meeting a life sized precious gem – rock solid and extremely precious. And she is on fire! Nicole walked in, pulled out her laptop and we barely said hello before we were waist high in conversation about what we could do for Jewish women.
I understood from Nicole and Devora that they had 4 goals for The 4 Auras
- Building Bridges. The 4 Auras is beyond denominations. Maybe it’s on purpose or maybe it’s circumstantial but the fact is that women who observe Judaism differently often don’t get a chance to meet let alone talk and connect. It’s time to meet and celebrate each other and to break down stereotypes and misconceptions.
We want women to get together, to come out of their usual circles and be embraced through rich programming with a community of women who seek vitality.
- Jewish Enrichment. We are all hungry. You can have a Torah Observant woman who just isn’t feeling it, or a non – Observant women who hasn’t had the chance to discover what Judaism can be. Both are hungry. Both need spiritual food. We feel most alive when we are growing and working on ourselves. We need programming where we can enrich our Judaism and be lit up with purpose.
- Support. The 4 Auras aims to provide programming for women in all areas for optimal Life Balance. That’s where the name 4 Auras come in. We’re looking to provide support for women’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves.
- Networking. The 4 Auras can serve as a database for business and services run by women . The website will aim to slowly build up information about Jewish communities across the US. You can find the help you need and support someone’s business at the same time. How awesome is that!
Once I got it, I felt a wave of familiarity. At the Challah Bake last year we had experienced all of the above. We had women of all different types under the banner of a simple mitzvah ( Torah commandment) and it was marvelous. The camaraderie was unparalleled. We knew we couldn’t let it stop there and we decided to begin an organization called The Challah Ladies and start programming. But life got in the way and I learned that wanting to start an organization isn’t the same as starting one.
So here I am again. I’m in a funny place in my life. It’s like all the doors are open but I’m not sure which one to walk through. I’ve never had this before. Usually, I’m rushing along and I find myself engulfed before I even realize it. This time is different. More than a few opportunities have come up recently and I find myself asking Hashem “What do you want me to do? So I’m watching for clues, and this feels like a pretty strong one.
Our first meeting centered around this inaugural event celebrating Jewish femininity. We scoped out the venue, set up the program and put up the website. Nicole and Devora are working on getting the word out in Atlanta and are organizing the whole thing. The evening is going to be lush with sights and sounds.
I’ll be speaking, we’ll all be doing life balance work. We’ll be getting into mini groups for workshops and working with movement to the sound of beating drums. We’ll talk about why this is so important and what it means to be a woman and how nurturing your 4 auras is the dance of life.
I’ll let you know how it goes! I really have no idea if this is like a slow growing fruit tree or like a fast growing vine. Will we jump into programming or take ten steps back and reassess? It’s up to the women. When they come they’ll let us know. This is totally grass roots.
In the meantime, check out what happened. I said to Nicole and Devora , “I really like to bring Minky if I go out of town. If I come, I would need to bring her.” The next thing I knew, two tickets arrived in my inbox. And my dream came full circle. Two tickets to an event. This event.
I realized that it’s not just me who gets caught up in unimportant distractions’ and misses out on face to face relationships. It’s all of us. This event is the one I was given tickets to in my dream. This is the healing. We run and we run, and we do and we do, but very rarely do we stop to fill up. The 4 Auras event is to fill us up, give us energy, speak our fears and strengthen our souls. I hope that sometime during the night, someone throws back their head and laughs, “I needed this!”