When I consider what fuels my fire, the first things that come to mind are my family, Israel and my work at the Atlanta Jewish Times. That’s easy, right? But after a long hard look at the meaning of “fueling my fire,” I realized that there was a deeper layer that really flames my dedication, ambition and the success of all my endeavors, even the ones that mean the most to me.
I love my family with all my heart, and that unconditional love is certainly a motivating factor for being a good wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc. They bring me joy, and most of all, a purpose that is far reaching into my soul, one that words could never fully describe.
Israel makes my heart leap when I think of her. My work for Israel is so dear to my heart and fulfills a sense of purpose in my life, but there is more. There’s an obligation to protect and stand for the Jewish homeland. It’s the apple of G-d’s eye, and I want to be a part of the promises that come from supporting her.
The AJT has become my mission, so-to-speak, an extension of who I am and my place in our community. It’s where I belong and what I am so supposed to do, my way of giving back and serving my community. This too, fulfills my sense of purpose and obligation.
I am so very passionate about all of these things and they all define me as a woman and servant of my community, but this deeper layer is truly the foundation of why I am the mother I am, why I love and support Israel, and why I love serving my community through the AJT, to see that the paper will continue to be a conduit in keeping Jewish Atlanta connected for years to come.
This deeper layer is my very personal relationship to G-d and my personal understanding and observance of Judaism. I am filled with faith and hope every day because I believe in the words of the Tanach and I have them written on my heart. It was this verse that came to my mind and why I had to think deeper than the obvious:
תְּהִלִּים Psalm 41
יא וְאַתָּה יְהוָה, חָנֵּנִי וַהֲקִימֵנִי; וַאֲשַׁלְּמָה לָהֶם. 11 But Thou, O LORD, be gracious unto me, and raise me up, that I may oblige them.
יב בְּזֹאת יָדַעְתִּי, כִּי-חָפַצְתָּ בִּי: כִּי לֹא-יָרִיעַ אֹיְבִי עָלָי. 12 By this I know that Thou delightest in me, that mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
יג וַאֲנִי–בְּתֻמִּי, תָּמַכְתָּ בִּי; וַתַּצִּיבֵנִי לְפָנֶיךָ לְעוֹלָם. 13 And as for me, Thou upholdest me because of mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face forever.
יד בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל–מֵהָעוֹלָם, וְעַד הָעוֹלָם: אָמֵן וְאָמֵן. 14 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Kaylene Ladinsky is the managing publisher and editor of the AJT.