What Fuels My Fire?

What Fuels My Fire?

Kaylene Ladinsky shares what fuels her fire.

In addition to being the AJT’s managing publisher and interim editor, Kaylene Ladinsky is the president of Americans United With Israel.

When I consider what fuels my fire, the first things that come to mind are my family, Israel and my work at the Atlanta Jewish Times. That’s easy, right? But after a long hard look at the meaning of “fueling my fire,” I realized that there was a deeper layer that really flames my dedication, ambition and the success of all my endeavors, even the ones that mean the most to me. 

I love my family with all my heart, and that unconditional love is certainly a motivating factor for being a good wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc. They bring me joy, and most of all, a purpose that is far reaching into my soul, one that words could never fully describe. 

Israel makes my heart leap when I think of her. My work for Israel is so dear to my heart and fulfills a sense of purpose in my life, but there is more. There’s an obligation to protect and stand for the Jewish homeland. It’s the apple of G-d’s eye, and I want to be a part of the promises that come from supporting her. 

The AJT has become my mission, so-to-speak, an extension of who I am and my place in our community. It’s where I belong and what I am so supposed to do, my way of giving back and serving my community. This too, fulfills my sense of purpose and obligation. 

I am so very passionate about all of these things and they all define me as a woman and servant of my community, but this deeper layer is truly the foundation of why I am the mother I am, why I love and support Israel, and why I love serving my community through the AJT, to see that the paper will continue to be a conduit in keeping Jewish Atlanta connected for years to come. 

This deeper layer is my very personal relationship to G-d and my personal understanding and observance of Judaism. I am filled with faith and hope every day because I believe in the words of the Tanach and I have them written on my heart. It was this verse that came to my mind and why I had to think deeper than the obvious: 

תְּהִלִּים Psalm 41

יא  וְאַתָּה יְהוָה, חָנֵּנִי וַהֲקִימֵנִי;    וַאֲשַׁלְּמָה לָהֶם. 11 But Thou, O LORD, be gracious unto me, and raise me up, that I may oblige them.

יב  בְּזֹאת יָדַעְתִּי, כִּי-חָפַצְתָּ בִּי:    כִּי לֹא-יָרִיעַ אֹיְבִי עָלָי. 12 By this I know that Thou delightest in me, that mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

יג  וַאֲנִי–בְּתֻמִּי, תָּמַכְתָּ בִּי;    וַתַּצִּיבֵנִי לְפָנֶיךָ לְעוֹלָם. 13 And as for me, Thou upholdest me because of mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face forever.

יד  בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל–מֵהָעוֹלָם, וְעַד הָעוֹלָם:    אָמֵן וְאָמֵן. 14 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Kaylene Ladinsky is the managing publisher and editor of the AJT.

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