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Turning Tides: A Singular Shabbos

As told to Leah Gebber

The ripple effect of two singles showing up at a Shabbos geared for families and married couples

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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Photo: Shutterstock

I t was a Shabbos geared for families and married couples, according to the flyer. Before I tossed it down, I let my eyes slide over the list of speakers. Each one of them was world-class, and from the titles of the shiurim, it didn’t look like the Shabbos was devoted solely to marriage or chinuch. I called a friend. “Let’s go,” I said. “Ya think?”

I read out the flyer.

It was too compelling to be dismissed so fast.

“You don’t think it’ll be… odd… if two single girls come along?”

“So let’s get more. A whole group of us.”

I spent the next Sunday on the phone, and by the end of the day, I had a group of us prepared to attend. It was a fantastic Shabbos — fun and inspiring, with a pinch of exhilaration that we’d gone for what we wanted.

Two years later, I had moved out of my childhood home and was working and living in a city a few hours away from my family. It was a fantastic neighborhood and I was busy working, volunteering, and spending time with friends — as well as shidduchim, of course. Moving away from home was a big step, but most of my childhood friends were married, and many had kids. I felt like they had moved on in life, while in my new area there were so many girls like me. It was a good move.

I’m the kind of person who wants to connect — if I read a good book, I want to be in touch with the writer. When I read Aharon Margalit’s heart-wrenching autobiography, I found his e-mail address and wrote to tell him how much the book had affected me.

When a friend sent me a shiur from an inspirational speaker in America, and I was blown away by the depth and the humor, I knew I had to speak to her. A little sleuthing got me her number, and I called, introduced myself, and we started talking. In the course of the conversation, I threw out a question: Would you ever consider coming to England to talk? “Sure,” she said.

I put down the phone on a high, although I didn’t think it would ever really happen.


And it probably wouldn’t have happened, had I not wistfully mentioned the idea to a group of friends, one of whom mentioned it to one of her friends, who then called me up and said, “Let’s do it!”

Malkie had been hooked on this speaker for years and thought that if she gave me a push, it might just materialize. Without even considering the words that came out my mouth, I said, “Great, let’s do it together.”

And that’s how our weekend getaway for singles was born. 

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