Chava Berman Borowsky

My mom the influencer

Shkedia Haviva Berman (image courtesy of author)

I’ve never in my life met anyone who loves God as much as my mom loves God. She’s also the only non-Christian person I know who tells both Jews and non-Jews alike “I’ll pray for you” every time she hears of someone’s struggles. She habitually shares divrei torah with rabbis who she meets walking down the street. As a kid every time I went to the dentist, my mom would also share a dvar torah with both the receptionist and the dentist. Although my family is not Chassidishe my mom is a lifelong student of chassidut. I’ve never ever seen my mom more joyful and ecstatic than when learning a ma’amar of the Lubavitcher rebbe.

My mom’s favorite prayer is אשא עיני אל ההרים, מעיין יבוא עזרי. She would always recite this psalm when looking for parking. She sings tehillim every day and when challenged she can complete any passuk of tehillim by heart. My mom has memorized almost the entire Sefer Tehillim.

My mom can out-rabbi pretty much anyone. When I was in high school and I was reading John Grisham novels my mom got into a serious argument with my dad’s rabbi. He told her that it was OK for me to be reading John Grisham novels and my mom was so genuinely disappointed. “But I heard you say on Shabbos in shul that we should only have kedusha in our houses. How is this book kedusha?”

Being that my mom is Sephardic she goes to slichot for the entire month of Elul. Some of my fondest memories are waking up at 5 AM and meeting all my cousins in my grandfather’s shul where we would sing slichot, then go walking in the park at 6 AM, and then buy a pastry from the bakery. The pastry was our reward for waking up so early to go to slichot. 

My mom is a larger-than-life super magnet for any person of any race, ethnicity, or religion who considers themselves to be spiritual. Non-religious Jewish spiritual people flock to her just to  hear her Godly wisdom. She’s constantly questioned by religious-by-birth people whether she’s a ba’alat teshuva. Most people have never seen a person religious-by-birth who loves God and Torah as much as she does. 

It therefore came to all her family and friends as no surprise when she gained so much immediate popularity when my sister uploaded a clip of my mom on a whim. My mom was so excited that she was able to share her dose of inspiration with so many people due to the power of social media. “Wow, I was able to share Torah with more than 1,000 people!” My mom currently records a clip of herself reciting one passuk of Tehillim each morning and my sister is now the official social media manager. My mom has become the unparalleled and also unconventional one-stop shop for daily joyous spiritual energy.

The account for daily joyous spiritual energy.

This was written with my mom’s permission

About the Author
Chava Berman Borowsky grew up in Los Angeles, CA in an Orthodox community in the La Brea Fairfax neighborhood. She moved to Israel in 2008 and has since lived in Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, Holon, and Ashdod. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, painting, and writing.
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