Searching For Godliness After My Sexual Assault

Editor’s Note: For victims of sexual assault, the recovery includes mentally healing in addition to physically healing. The following is a post from a young woman describing feeling like the Godliness was leaving her body in the midst of being sexually assaulted. As part of the healing process, she thinks through how she could still have bodily Godliness in the wake of being a victim of this heinous act.


Image result for sexual assault coping


There is something to be said

for the existential experience of the soul,

the ability of the soul to rise above,

to escape our world, and enter

that of God’s


But then again,

isn’t it all God’s world?

isn’t my body one of God’s?

aren’t all of my experiences Godly?


What is a Godly experience, anyway?

is God goodness?

is God greatness?




My soul rose above,

when it could no longer stay below,

when it could not stand to be a part of God’s grounded universe,

when it needed salvation that my body could not give it


My body of God,

my body of Torah,

my biblical body


My soul rose above while I lay below,

lay below the man I did not know

lay below the pain I thought I could not feel

lay below an experience that could not be real


My soul rose above as I whispered the Sh’ma,

rose above as I cried out for my ma,

stayed together as my body fell apart,

knew how to save me from the very start


My weak, biblical body

became a body devoid of a soul,

as my soul rose above,

flew towards God


My soul searched for its own salvation,

refused the external degradation

my soul, my soul of God,

protected itself when my body could not




I always told myself that I am a woman of God,

that my body is a body of Bible,

that my tears are tears of Torah,

my sweat, sweat of Gemara


I wrote before, before my life changed, that my body was biblical,

Breishit in my jaded joints

Shemot in my brittle bones

Vayikra in my masculine muscles

Bamidbar in my aching arms

Devarim in my lanky legs


My weak body of Bible was not enough to protect me

in this moment,

my body was not one of Bible,

one of God,

one of Godliness


The Bible in my body burned down like a synagogue,

red, hot, blazing,


burnt to ashes


My body was one of weakness,

the cold tears that rolled down my face were not tears of Torah,

the sweat of fear that seeped from my pores was not sweat of Gemara




There was nothing Godly about that night

I told myself for months,

there was no longer anything Godly about me,

my desecrated body was not a body of Bible

I did not want it to be a body of Bible

this is not what Godliness is


But what is Godliness?


Perhaps it is my soul,

that is more Godly than anything

my soul that arose above,

flew like a dove,

enveloped me like a glove,

protected me with love


Perhaps Godliness is not goodness,

is not greatness,

but is a state of being,

the very nature of my existence


Perhaps Godliness is why I am still here,

why my hopes and dreams still feel near,

why my soul was able to save me,

when I could not save myself,


It was not a Godly experience,

but I am a woman of God,

a body of Bible




Breishit in my jaded joints

Shemot in my brittle bones

Vayikra in my masculine muscles

Bamidbar in my aching arms

Devarim in my lanky legs


Except now,

Breishit in the black and blues around my neck

Shemot in the bright red nail marks down my arms

Vayikra in the soreness

Bamidbar in the trauma, in the flashbacks

Devarim in the blood




I still feel the eternal fire of Torah in my soul,

red, hot,


taking over my body

bullets of Bible in my body


I am a woman of God, even if my body once wasn’t

there is nothing more Godly,

than an unGodly experience,

in which I still feel God


What is Godliness anyway?


Godliness is I.

My battered body, bullets of Bible in my battered body.





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2 Comments on “Searching For Godliness After My Sexual Assault

  1. I am awed and insired by your strength. Thank you for sharing it with us, through this incredible poem. May your journey continue to lead you up and beyond, stronger and better for yourself and for all that you can share with the world.
    With all my heart,

  2. Thank you so much for your poem about your sexual assault. After I read it I cried and cried. I’ve also been assaulted sexually.Your poem was so validating. You described in your own words how I handled the assault while it was going on. This was the first time I’ve ever felt understood. I printed out your poem and keep on rereading it. Each time I cry. And each time I feel validated and understood again. This is huge for me. Thank you so much again.

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