I’m Yocheved, And I’m A Hero

When I was a girl, my favorite color was Yellow. Not the muted, faded type or the color close to gold- my favorite color was the loud, blazing yellow of taxi cabs and egg yolks, of rubber duckies and bananas. And truth be told, the reason why I loved this color was not about its look. I loved Yellow because I felt really bad for it. I felt that Yellow was the color most overlooked, the color least often chosen to be on the top of anyone’s favorite color list… and so I chose to love Yellow.

One day while walking down the stone roads of Jerusalem, I passed by a young woman outside a bar being harassed by a guy. My inner vigilante came out in full force. Without missing a beat, I jumped in between them, attempting to protect this girl from this raging young man, deflecting his wrath onto me… Fifteen years later, she is one of my closest friends.

[sc name="ad-300x600"]

I guess in many ways my life was splattered by this intense desire to save the underdog. (That may have been me running down Carroll Street after two pickpocketers yelling “Poollliiiicccceee!!!!” Must have been a funny site.) Songs like “If you want to, I can save you…” were the ones I belted out the loudest while driving my car, invigorated by the idea that I could bring a little light into someone’s world… And while this all may sound a little Messiah-complexish, the truth is, relating to the little guy in other people was really my way of saying that I get it- I’m totally vulnerable, too. I am that person who’s sometimes sad, or lonely, or afraid and who for years struggled to fit in, feeling misunderstood, out-of-the-box, and deemed a little “too” something (Intense? Dramatic? Different?) by people I loved most. And I guess there was a part of me waiting for someone to save me, to run after my demons with their feet pounding on the pavement while belting out some sappy pop-tune. Never happened quite like that. But you know what? I’m cool with it. There’s so much beauty in vulnerability… especially when it brings people closer.

When I am feeling alone, or tender, or moved, I’ve taken to writing down my feelings. Somehow, its a catharthis of my soul that brings me joy, that allows me to breathe a bit deeper, that creates connection with others. So when Elad asked me to join Hevria, I jumped at the opportunity. I want to be a part of a community of thinkers and doers who celebrate all the nuances of people and life and our Jewish community. I want to be a part of a positive forum where I can be a little softer, a little more open, a little more OK with the underdog inside me, while empowering others… Because the truth is, don’t we all need a little saving, a little more acceptance, a little more love? And at the end of the day, isn’t there a Hero inside each one of us, waiting for a chance to emerge, wishing to take on the world and and its stuff and just do something amazing and transformative and special?… I think so.