Inspiring Jewish Women

Moriah: From Professional Model to Judaism, Part II

In Part I Moriah discusses how she became a supermodel in Mexico yet felt closeness to G-d amidst all the impurity around her and she would always pray for her success. In Part II Moriah discusses what brought her back to Judaism and why.

“I was inborn with praying as part of me. Before any competition, I would pray to G-d for success. I also would hang out with all the Israelis that came to Mexico. There’s a whole sea of them; lost Israelis, disconnected from Judaism and assimilated, literally anti-religious. These are the type that flies to Mexico after doing their compulsory army duty; they just want to let loose and they’re disconnected from their roots. You can walk in the street and smell cooked pork and see a whole group of assimilated Israelis and you know that even if you wanted to keep kosher you wouldn’t find kosher food even at the grocer whereas in Israel even non-religious people go to synagogue. Anyone flying to the diaspora will find a whole soup of non-Jews and assimilation. I now understand why we must unite: We are a nation like a family. Out in the diaspora it feels like they don’t care about themselves and that is very sad. With all their money and the years they waste chasing after temporal pleasures… So why are you alive? I lived that exact same way… I lived in a bubble.”

The bubble begins to burst

With all the fame and attention showered on me, my boyfriend became obsessively jealous and our relationship soured. The obsessive pursuit of perfecting my body also began to wear me out. All the attention showered on me solely for my externals… I felt I was living in hell…”

The climax of this hell was when Moriah began receiving death threats. “A competing model was jealous of my success and started sending people after me to harm me. I was in mortal danger, it was life or death. That model who was jealous sent people to hurt me and when I kept getting threatening phone calls I knew it was over. It was time to pack up and go back to Israel.”

“The trigger may have been the death threats but for a few moths beforehand I already felt that I wanted more out of life. I had everything but I was sad I felt I was sinking and began looking into many different kiruv websites whose lectures were the one point of light in my life otherwise shrouded in darkness. I want more and more to listen to lectures and read up on Judaism and I knew that I would only get it in Israel.”

“Within 2 months I sold everything I had in Mexico: My furniture, my apartment and my car. I even gave away some things I just wanted to get out of this materialism and get back to Israel. I preferred to get to Israel even without anything than to stay in this filth with everything for even one more moment.”

“Breaking up was traumatic; I thought the sky was falling”

“Leaving my boyfriend was the most difficult test for me. We always believed we’d get married. He was a good man but he wasn’t religious and had no connection to G-d nor was he interested in one. When I told him how I want to become stronger in my Judaism he was totally not interested. He was entirely bound to materialism and when I tried explaining to him about spirituality he just told me; “enough, I’m not like that.” I thought to myself: “If I stay in Mexico and we create a life together what will it come to? What will I teach my children, how to roll a cigarette? Get married and divorce after 2 years? I saw how people were living in Mexico and I didn’t want to be part of it. But breaking up was still hard to do. The only thing that helped was that I was searching for the truth. I wanted a husband that would appreciate that he was Jewish, that loves G-d as much as I did. It was either my boyfriend or my true Father and I had no doubt about who to choose. Looking back I see that what I had in Mexico was not true love.”

“When I entered the Midrasha I felt I came home”

“I came back a year ago and it was a special time for me. I knew I was leaving all the falsehood behind. I knew one day I’d leave all this materialism and come back to Him.”

After hearing many lectures including those of Rabbi Zamir Cohen she wanted to come to one of his lectures. “I called Hidabroot asking about coming to one of Rabbi Zamir Cohen’s lectures and the proposed I try a Shabbat in the Midrasha (where women can study Torah). I agreed as I was so thirsty for this having been suffocated in Mexico’s materialism. My soul was yearning for even more than these lectures but I wasn’t sure for what.”

“I came alone to the Midrasha but I didn’t feel alone for a moment. I found young women praying just like me where before I felt like a strange Martian when I prayed. I listened to lectures and knew that this was the truth. You don’t need much more than a bit of logic and some emotion to know this.”

Almost a year in the Midrasha of Neve- Chaim the Israeli chapter of Neve- Yerushalayim and Moriah feels she found her place in the world. “I see the changes inside me even in the smallest details. Even my handwriting changed. I used to have a great big and coarse handwriting and now it’s small, orderly and clear. This testifies that there are 2 people inside me; who I was before and who I am today.”

“I came to the Midrasha on the Rosh Chodesh Nissan. A rabbi said in a lecture: “Today is Rosh Hashanah; we left Egypt today” and I began crying. I felt I was redeemed from Egypt, from the falsehood and the 49 levels of impurity and I came into the epitome of holiness. I don’t know how I had the courage to leave it all behind and do this. G-d gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and I am so thankful to Him that I am here and that I can live in Jerusalem. Millions of people cried to come here and I live here and merit walking on this holy ground every day. I get to work on myself and help other young women which is a great merit… it doesn’t matter what I had, it doesn’t compare to what I have now!”

How does your family take this change of yours?

My mother and sister are ecstatic! My mother was never pleased with what was going on with me in Mexico. She would always pray for me and encourage me. She didn’t like he path I originally chose and today she is really proud of me.  She is traditional and she has respect for this. My 14 year old sister is also becoming stronger and this year went to a religious school.”

Don’t you get flashbacks from the past and sometimes long for what was?

“Sure I get them and they can’t be controlled. I could have spared myself a lot of mistakes and impurity and I feel remorse for what was. I feel that as much as I am a different person in a different place the past still chases after me and reminds me of what I experienced there. I deal with this daily but the Torah really brings me tranquility. When you are full of purity impurity has no choice but to leave you for there’s no more room for it inside you! Time heals and you forget what was and that is great! This is the first time I feel really alive, a type of happiness feeling G-d and being truly connected to him. This is eternal satisfaction.”

“I understand that material success or fame isn’t what makes you into a bigger person. For me money is only some paper with a picture on it, all imaginary. It bothers me when I see people wasting their lives away living dead lives detached from their souls. Life is the most precious thing there is but they live for another movie or another meal at a restaurant. What will they have from it? I get strength from thinking about my future children and knowing that what happened to me shouldn’t happen to them. Today coming from a small family I want to have a large family.”

“On the other hand I know that G-d wanted me to discover him when I was alone in my bad situation for there you can know that G-d is with you even in the darkest and impure places. It doesn’t matter where you are; G-d is there with you!”


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