Posts by Shira Lankin Sheps

Nikki’s Story: Humans of Judaism

(1/6) “Grief”  “Around this time of year, in November of 2013, just before Thanksgiving, my father passed away suddenly. I was stopped in my tracks. I had a few friends around that time who also passed away, and so suddenly I was thrown into a tremendous amount of loss. Losing a parent is truly its…

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Alana’s Story: Seeking Spirituality

(1/6) “iMPRINTS” “When I was a child, I remember having romantic and beautiful feelings about Israel. I was deeply in love with and yearned for Israel. Anytime a family member or friend went on a trip to Israel it felt like a really big deal. Why? I don’t know for sure – but I do…

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Leah’s Story: Unconditional Personhood

(1/6) “Agency” “My mother grew up without a lot of agency, with little say in what happened to her in her life. At a certain point, she took life into her own hands. She raised me to always be 100% true to myself. I was a very passionate, feisty and fierce young woman growing up…

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Aliza’s Story: The Ultimate Gift

(1/7) “You May Need A Transplant” “In my mid-twenties I had not been feeling well. I went to the doctor, who after some blood tests, told me that I was very anemic. While this is pretty common in women, I was so anemic that he wanted me to get a blood transfusion. When I entered…

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A Jew Is A Jew: Lessons From Anti-Semitism

When I turned on my phone after Shabbat here in Israel, a nightmare scenario unfolded on my newsfeed. During a brit milah, in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, a gunman burst into the shul and went on a murderous rampage. As he was shooting he shouted out, “ALL JEWS MUST DIE.” By the time I…

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Today, I Can’t Get Out Of Bed

I’m writing this on one of those days, where it feels impossible to get out of bed. I have these days that are so intense, I know I just need to stay put and ride the waves of pain, until they have passed. I never used to have any pain at all. I always felt…

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Forgiving, For You.

We all know the feeling. The heart-pounding, reverberating through our whole bodies. Heads feeling swollen with anger. The full body ache of hurt. That feeling when someone close to us betrays us. When someone rebuffs our efforts of kindness. When someone plays “the victim.” When they twist our words and mangle our intentions. When they…

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Rea’s Story: Medicating A Spiritual Condition

The photographs for this profile were taken by Mina Richler from Art of A Moment.   (1/6) “Fix This” “I always felt very lonely. I felt as if everyone else received this pamphlet that was called, ‘Instructions for Life’ and someone gave me their chewed up Bazooka wrapper instead. Everyone always seemed to ‘know what…

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When He Wouldn’t Say My Name

Recently I went away for Shabbos. People close to us sponsored a kiddush in our honor, and it was to be hosted at shul. When I got to shul, it was already pretty late and davening was almost over. I slid into the back of the women’s section and opened a siddur, and began to…

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Aliza’s Story: My Body, My Babies

(1/7) “Unpretty”   At the time, I felt very unpretty. I felt in order to be pretty, you had to be skinny. The thing was, I was very very skinny. I thought that being skinny would make me popular. For me, I felt like I just wanted to be accepted, I didn’t have a circle…

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