My name is Alon and I live in Holon. I wanted to share my Teshuvah story with you. I grew up in a pretty ordinary family. We made Kiddush on Friday nights and celebrated the holidays with festive meals. As a growing adolescent, I enjoyed parties and went clubbing every week. There was no club or party that I did not attend. I thought this was the ‘good life’ – alcohol, parties, and other desires.
Fifteen years ago, I worked on the Tel-Aviv boardwalk on Friday night, handing out flyers for a particular party. While I was handing out the flyers to passersby, I suddenly noticed a booklet on the floor called “Torah and Faith – Science Validates the Torah”. This was the first time I had encountered words of Torah directly from Rabbi Zamir Cohen Shlita. I do not know how to explain it, but this booklet just grabbed me and penetrated my heart as the absolute truth. From that day on, I started looking for more books to learn and grow stronger from. I hadn’t made great strides towards faith yet, but I gradually started learning, praying and reading more and more.
Years went by where I was living in constant conflict between my desire to become religious and my occupation with the vanities of the world. I simply lived a double life.
It was horrible. I was torn between the truth etched in my mind and the environment in which I grew up. I was torn this way for years. I would take a yarmulke out of my pocket, recite a blessing, and place it back in my pocket. Today I cannot imagine it, but that’s how it was.
And then it happened. Right after the big trip that I took after completing my military service, and after having fulfilled all the ‘dreams’ of a newly discharged soldier, the question came to me:
“That’s it? Is this the height of happiness to which I should aspire?
Oh G-d! What emptiness!!!”
I was always taught that I should pursue absolute freedom, earthly indulgences and worldly passions. This is in complete contrast to the guidance of the Torah and its compassionate, sensitive nature.
However, it was very difficult for me to initiate the Teshuvah process alone, and so I made a deal with G-d asking Him to send me my other half and if He does, then “I will become fully observant”.
My other half did not delay.
One Friday night, after turning down an invitation from friends to go out to a nightclub, I met her in someone’s home while she was encouraging and empowering her friend.
Obviously I had no idea that she would be my life partner, but the Master of the Universe had other plans, and a few months later we were married according to the laws of Moshe and Yisrael.
As a consequence of becoming religious, not only was I on the right track in life, but I got to know myself, the legacy of my ancestors, the beauty and splendor of the holy Torah, and as time goes by, I just realize how much more I have to learn and grow – it’s an endless pleasure.
Today, my wife and I live together happily, sharing common goals. She enjoys the ‘Torah abiding’ version of me. I am strengthened today mostly through Torah websites such as Hidabroot and others, classes in the synagogue as well as daily classes on Torah and ethics.
I cannot describe the pleasure and joy in a life filled with faith and piety. I cannot imagine my life being any different and I wouldn’t replace it for anything in the world.