I am not making this journey on my own. I have the support of so many people around me. But it hasn’t always been this way…
When I first started becoming religious, despite having a religious boyfriend, he wasn’t much help. Whenever I had a question he never answered, and never gave me the support I so desperately needed.
I went to many shuls. Federation, United, Masorti, Liberal, Reform…I didn’t feel the connection I felt in school lighting those Menorah candles. I nearly gave up. I thought ‘come on, how many more shuls are there?’.
Then I stumbled over Chabad. I was apprehensive about going, I just thought it would be another shul that didn’t match what I was looking for.
I had the Rabbi of the shul on Facebook, and kindly asked him when the services were so I could go and check it out. He told me the times, and I went.
I shouldn’t have been so apprehensive; Chabad was the only shul where I actually felt welcomed and accepted. Everybody was so friendly and kind and I felt that spark again.
Motzei Shabbos, the same Rabbi spoke to me again. He asked about me, what sparked my curiosity and then he invited me for Shabbos. This took me by surprise; no one invited me to their house for Shabbos before, especially not a Rabbi! I politely declined, but said once I became more acquainted with the Rabbi I would stay with him for Shabbos.
So I went for Shabbos. Let me tell you, it was one of the most incredible, inspirational, uplifting times of my life. And I went back the next week, and the week after, and I still go to stay with him every Shabbos, because he knows how much I want to keep Shabbos and he wants to help me.
I found Chabad, and Chabad helped me.