Statement

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Content warning: This piece contains graphic descriptions of gender-based and sexual violence.

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The words poured over the crowd gathered on the Diag like a warm blanket, our collective voices growing in volume and conviction: 

Bless those in need of healing with re’fuah shlemah 

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It was early February, and a woman with short brown hair was leading me through a long, twisting hallway in the Student Activities Building. I held my coat in my arms, feeling stunned until we arrived at an empty office with just a chair and a sad, barren desk.

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It was recital day, and all of my students were lined up backstage; these girls formed a perfectly straight line, no taller than my knee. I had been teaching dance since I was an adolescent so I knew what I was doing.

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In March 2019, I found a YouTube video titled How to Remember Your Life that proposed the unthinkable: The only way to remember your life is to delete

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In Hebrew, the word for “to love” has the same root as the word “to give.” I’ve always admired the way an ancient language is woven together with purpose, the way the words hang on to each other, collide, twist into webs of meaning that say more together than any word could alone. 

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Over Winter Break, my mother and I drove 90 minutes to visit the gravesite of my paternal grandmother Gail, a place neither of us had seen.

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Editor's note: The Statement's Tiny Love Stories are inspired by The New York Times' Tiny Love Story contest.