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Stories of Return

Stories of Return

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A Journey of Spiritual Growth
I decided that whatever was done in my husband’s home to yield such strength, we would do in ours. So when he said, “I want to keep kosher and Shabbat”—traditions many European Jews keep—I replied, “Show me what to do.”
So what about me and others like me, the “boring” converts? Should we take advantage of the fact that our secret is safe?
When I joined my mother for the weekly visits to the church, I felt something wasn’t right.
I let too many people who had once helped me become strangers.
I stumbled upon Chabad seemingly by accident shortly before I finished university.
I didn’t fully understand why non-kosher meat was off-limits, but the ethics behind it—coupled with my appreciation of an animal’s suffering and my acceptance of the Torah’s laws—keeps me from going back to meat that was slaughtered in a non-kosher manner.
When I received a recent email from the widow of a distant French cousin, I had absolutely no idea how the information it contained would turn my life upside-down.
I vowed to never associate myself with Jews, except for my family. I kept that vow till I was 56 years old.
I grew up in a home without chicken soup—no Friday-night candles, no sweet challah, no Shabbat dinner at all.
Our definition of being Jewish just meant that we weren’t anything else.
I was born into what appeared to be a typical non-Jewish American family, in a small town in Illinois. No one in my family adhered to any religious beliefs.
About 10 years ago I fell head over heels in love with Judaism . . .
How did I get to this point? Of not only wanting to have a kosher kitchen, but actually having it koshered?
After years of watching these and other animated, enthusiastic rabbis, with their interesting and industrious ways of approaching holidays—and every day, for that matter—I have learned that sometimes it’s me who is missing a tune.
“You’re going to sit home ALONE instead of driving to shul to be with other Jews at Shabbat services?!” my parents demanded.
“Spiritual journey”—it's a cliché, but I don't know a better way to describe it.
At a young age, she announced that she was going to have a home just like theirs when she grew up, with a big Shabbat table and many children...
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