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Stories of Return

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Pondering Jew
A Journey of Spiritual Growth
Judaism Didn't Fix My Life, I Need to Do It
I thought that when I discovered Torah Judaism 12 years ago, it would fix me.
What Happened When I Needed to Work on a Jewish Holiday
The idea of not driving or working on any Jewish holiday was not something I grew up with. Finally, in 2017, I decided that I would no longer work on any Jewish holiday. Of course, until I ran into a major roadblock …
The Path to Religion Is Bumpy and Lonely, Yet Beautiful
My husband is with me on this journey, and although we are different, we are now working together, as unique individuals with common goals.
My First Peek Into the Universe Called ‘770’
Since we were clearly visitors, people made room for us and guided us to the front so we could see through large, tinted windows.
It Took a Teen to Reconnect With My Torah Learning
Though she is 13 years my junior, after every one-hour learning session with her, I leave feeling reinvigorated, ready to dive deeper into Judaism and to take on more mitzvot.
Why, Oh Why, Oh Why? My Inquisitive Journey to Mitzvot
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.”
My family and I stood at the foot of my great-great-grandmother Mathilde Weil's former home, installing a Stolperstein (“stumbling stone”) in her memory.
How I Became a Halachic Jew
So what about me and others like me, the “boring” converts? Should we take advantage of the fact that our secret is safe?
A Soul at Sinai: From a Life in Germany to a Life in Israel
When I joined my mother for the weekly visits to the church, I felt something wasn’t right.
Wishing I Had Been More Sensitive on the Path to Change
I let too many people who had once helped me become strangers.
A Five-Year Detour: My Path to Becoming Observant
I stumbled upon Chabad seemingly by accident shortly before I finished university.
The Road to Going Kosher
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.
Family Discovery Redux: More Intrigue From My Ancestry
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.
How I Found Judaism and Experienced Miracles
I vowed to never associate myself with Jews, except for my family. I kept that vow till I was 56 years old.
My Chicken Soup Journey
I grew up in a home without chicken soup—no Friday-night candles, no sweet challah, no Shabbat dinner at all.
How I Overcame a Childhood of Bland Judaism
Our definition of being Jewish just meant that we weren’t anything else.
History Revealed: Discovering My Jewish Roots
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.
How to Become Religious Without Losing Yourself
About 10 years ago I fell head over heels in love with Judaism . . .
My New Kosher Kitchen
How did I get to this point? Of not only wanting to have a kosher kitchen, but actually having it koshered?
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