Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



In Hashem’s Hut: 3 true stories of faith and fortitude

Various Authors

It is but A flimsy hut Open to the elements But inside One is embraced By a Father’s love And that makes all the difference

Thursday, September 27, 2012

painting of sukkahsON THE MOVE

As Told To Chana Weiss

My apartment was on top of a hill, with large windows that faced a mountain. The deck, which jetted out over a small forest, was totally private — my little oasis. On a clear day, I could glimpse the Pacific Ocean, lapping up against the shores ofWashington. Sometimes, if I was very still, hummingbirds would fly to the bird feeder, their wings flapping hurriedly, so close I could touch them.

In this apartment, I kashered my first kitchen. I baked my first challah. And for two years, I transformed my living room into a classroom on Wednesday nights, when a kollel rabbi would teach for an hour. We, his students, each had our own story — there was a Holocaust survivor in his 70s, a 20-something baalas teshuvah, several Conservative Jews interested in growth, and me — a 50-year-old woman following the footsteps of her three daughters towards Yiddishkeit. Every Shabbos, I joined a different religious community in the greater area. I stayed at the homes of strangers, some of whom later became dear friends.    

My life had a set routine, the comfort of predictability. I woke up early, worked long hours, and went home to unwind. And then, one day, my boss called me in for a meeting. He gave me 90-days notice. There were budget cuts, company losses — they had to let me go.

I didn’t expect my first reaction to be relief. But I felt lightness. I was sure Hashem was giving me a chance to choose a new direction. As I had grown more observant, I had many times considered moving to a religious community, but I rationalized that I could never leave my beloved apartment. Perhaps now I could make the leap.

But where to move? The nearby Torah communities were warm and welcoming, but none of my three married daughters — who had all become religious after college — nor my single son lived in Washington. I eventually narrowed my options down to three places, all cities where my children (and, more importantly, my grandchildren) lived —Jerusalem,New York, orLos Angeles. I would job-hunt in all three cities and settle wherever I found the first good position.

  

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity