When I think of King Solomon’s passionate poetry of divine love, my thoughts go to the mezuzah that hung on the bedroom door frame of the house I shared with my ex-husband and our three boys. Inscribed on it were the Hebrew words from Song of Songs, “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li.” I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Heart to heart we made our first house a home. Hearts that beat as one, then as time went on, as two dissonant tones, then alas, apart. 

I don’t know where that old mezuzah is now. I suppose I donated it somewhere after the move. Ah yes, now I remember. I packed it up neatly in tissue paper and brought it to the temple gift shop. I didn’t need it anymore. My heart had been broken. I remember asking a healer I went to after the break-up, to please remove the knife from my heart. So dramatic, as I think of it now, yet so real and visceral at the time. 

My heart, however, had not been pierced by my ex-husband, as one might think. Instead, as I would learn in the years to come, in the healing to come, that I alone pierced my heart. Neglect was the knife. Turning away from myself was the force that wielded it. I came to see how much I had lost contact with the very source of life: my heart. I had unknowingly erected a wall that no hurt could penetrate, while walling in the very hurt I thought I was keeping out. This was the deed that broke my heart, not the actions of another. Brick by brick, year after year, the wall was finally dismantled. The wound from the knife fully healed. 

Ani l’dodi v’dodi li. Now I am my own beloved.

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