On January 21, author, educator, spiritual Jewish activist, and transgender mentor Yiscah Smith, shared her inspiring, sometimes harrowing, four-decades-long struggle to create her life as a woman.
During her talk, Yiscah provided a context through sources that can direct and inspire us to actually live an authentic life, in the spirit of her autobiography, ‘Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living.’ Sources that I’ve discovered along my journey
“I was excited to find out that even my own tradition, the rabbis say ‘be honest,’ ‘be real,’ whatever that means,” Yiscah said.
“Much of my message, although the specific part of my journey is grappling with the tension between being born transgender and suffer from gender identity dysphoria and then moving through a gender transition,” Yiscah explained, “but at the same time really being in conflict with wanting to be authentically honest with God, with my people, with my tradition, with Israel, with my soul. So it was two pronged tension. It was a two-pronged journey. And I really sensed after giving readings and teachings, that this is really a global message. That everyone, to a degree, at times, lives in the closet. It’s a different closet for different people. So, really, what do we all dream for? we all dream for connection. We all dream for warmth. We all dream to have a good day.”