Hillel used to say, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” Shammai says: “Impose a regularity on your study of the Torah; speak little and act a lot; and welcomes each individual with a benevolent face.” (Pirkei Avot / Fathers’ Ethics 1.14-15)

To be able be yourself, what a wonderful gift! A gift that I only discovered after many years of suffering, but that I’m starting to fully grasp fully now. I had to learn to accept myself as I am, without seeking to conform to the norms of femininity imposed on me by my education, or the heteronormativity around me. If I was not going to accept myself first, who would do it for me?

And without loving myself, how would I love others? To love others, to be a crafts-woman of this love, peace and justice is important to me. That’s what makes me truly human.

And this not only some day when I will be perfect, or a much improved version of myself – but now, with the means that have at my disposition; to share what I have received, and help others to walk in their path and show them that God accepts them and loves them as they are and invites them to know Him: homo, straight, trans, bi, a , inter, queer, of all races, all kinds, all ages, all sizes …