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Straighten Your Crown

November 17, 2019 | by Emuna Braverman

Don't apologize for being a Jew. You're royalty.

I may be late to the party but recently I’ve noticed a number of women with bracelets that say, “Whenever you feel overwhelmed…remember whose daughter you are and straighten your crown.” It seems to be providing comfort to women who have lost their mothers. It makes them feel connected, inspired, uplifted. It’s a beautiful sentiment and a great motivation, not unlike our ancestor Joseph who kept the image of his father Jacob in front of him to keep him from straying. It’s a powerful tool and emotionally evocative.

But perhaps we are thinking too small. As wonderful as our mothers may be, we can reach higher. When I first read that quote, I didn’t think of flesh and blood parents. I reflected that I am the daughter of the King of the Universe and, as such, I should definitely straighten my crown.

In fact, I shouldn’t just straighten it, I should polish it until it shines. We have lost our way. We have forgotten that we are royalty. We have forgotten the responsibility that goes with that – as well as the privilege. We are true princesses – and not just because we had the party at 4 with the requisite paper plates, cups and costume! We need to carry ourselves as such. We need to remember our ancestry.

In our princess costume of old, we wobbled around on pointy-toed high-heeled shoes, feeling oh so grown up but not looking terribly regal. A true daughter of royalty walks erect, secure in the confidence that her heavenly Father is both beaming down with pride and holding her up. He is our support, our confidence, our rock.

It's hard to recognize our royal status in our casual world. The scrutiny lavished on the English duchesses is nothing compared to that directed towards the Jewish people. We are under a microscope, our every step and misstep catalogued. There are those who are eager to pounce, waiting for us to fail.

This is all the more reason for us to carry ourselves with dignity and pride, all the more reason to recognize that we are children of the King and not to allow ourselves to fall victim to the canards in the press. We have nothing to apologize for – unless we don’t live up to our potential, unless we betray our royal roots.

The Jewish people will never win a popularity contest. But that’s not our goal. Our fortunes wax and wane along with world opinion. But it doesn’t really matter. Because as long as we are behaving as we should, as long as the King of Kings is pleased with His subjects, nothing else counts.

Our challenge is to continue to rise up despite how those around us behave, to focus on our inner dignity and sense of self despite the external pressures, to enjoy the privilege of being a people who have chosen a deeper relationship with the Almighty with all its difficulties and struggles – and pleasures.

Some days and some generations that feeling of being overwhelmed arises more frequently. But we should never forget whose daughter we are. And we should always place a smile on our faces, straighten our crowns and keep moving forward.

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