uiet, blessed quiet. Gabriella sank down in her den recliner. She didn’t know why the kids had been giving her such a hard time at bedtime recently; this was the third night in a row that Levi had a tantrum during his bath.

Were her children attention-starved? It was already almost a month since she’d come home from Bulgaria, but maybe they still hadn’t gotten over her being away? Or were they sensing how consumed she was by the film editing? How overwhelmed by the promotions for her documentary?

Guilt, guilt, guilt. There was no end to a Jewish mother’s guilt.

Then, rolling her eyes at herself (All you need is the Bubby kerchief and the Yiddish accent… like you ever had a problem with too much Jewish mother’s guilt), she strode over to the computer desk and pulled open the drawer. She’d hidden the film festival brochure under a pile of old tax forms. Now, she snatched it out, ran her fingers eagerly over the words: “Inner Covers by Gabriella Acker.” The sight still made her feel giddy.

Gabriella turned on the computer and opened the Facebook page she’d created for her documentary. She’d been reluctant to do it — she’d always prided herself on avoiding social media. And Shmuel would hate it if he knew. But Doug had convinced her. If a film wasn’t on social media, he insisted, it didn’t exist.

Honestly, once she’d gotten past her discomfort, the feedback was fun. Reaching out to old friends and colleagues, getting their encouraging “Can’t wait to see it!” and “You go, girl!” made her proud.

Now she checked the feedback to her newest and most significant update — her trailer release. Here was a comment from Chad, her film classmate who’d contacted her a while back about collaborating on a documentary together. She squinted as she read: Awesome trailer! Love the premise — Ortho women breaking free of religious shackles. Blockbuster in the making!!

Gabriella frowned. Breaking free of religious shackles? How in the world did he get that idea from her film? Had she implied in any way that this would be a story about women throwing off religion? She squeezed the edges of the brochure tightly between her fingers.

Maybe she should make a clear statement on her promotional material that this wasn’t a negative portrayal (“A positive peek into—”). Imagine if others were making the same mistake!

And then she remembered that Chad had wanted to collaborate with her on a documentary about the Orthodox community. Deep breath, Gabriella. This is just his own thing. His personal bias.

Now another comment appeared under Chad’s — from someone named Melissa. Yes! I was once that repressed Orthodox girl. This film is SO NECESSARY!!

The glossy brochure paper was beginning to disintegrate under Gabriella’s sweaty fingers. Oh no. No, no, no. This could not be happening. Quickly, she typed: Totally wrong, guys. This is NOT a bash on the religious community! In fact, I’m a PROUD PART of—She hesitated, lifting her fingers off the keyboard. Did she want to advertise the fact that she was a frum Jew? Would that help or hurt her promotional effort? Should she care?

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 642)