She stood there frozen looking helplessly left to right trying to silence the inner voice asking her; “what are you doing here? Come back home, to where you really belong!”
“Yes” Shira asked “but where exactly is that place?” “Where it was, I didn’t know at the time. But the voice pleaded with me and I ignored it, suppressed it” Shira from Northern Israel relates. “At 5 in the morning I laid down to sleep confused. Why am I having all these existential questions about life? My whole life is to dance and sing and be happy to grab life in one breath! So what’s happening to me? I couldn’t explain it.”
She straightened her pillow and prepared for 3 hours of sleep after which she’d go to class. But one minute after putting her head down, she spotted a book on her night table called “Reviving the Soul”. “I had no idea where the book came from and how it landed on my night table!” Shira Relates, “But the words called out to me. I opened the book read the first few words and I shrank back: “To strengthen tired, cast away souls and tell them that even from where they are they can still come back to G-d” were the words she read.
She closed the book as a tear snuck out of the corner of her eye. Only later would Shira understand that this was a sign of the future life she was about to accept upon herself. “Every night it was like this for a long time until I decided to go to a Torah class. The class was given by a young man that also was a baal teshuva (someone who came back from a secular lifestyle to accept a Torah lifestyle). He understood well the world of non-religious youth. That’s why his class was made just for them. Initially it was very difficult to get stronger. Classmates would make fun of me, joke, scoff or even be afraid of me; they tried convincing me not to take this foolish step. My friends broke their contact with me but all this didn’t stop me from adding holiness to my life. The Hidabroot Channel lectures I watched helped me to be able to arise early to pray in the synagogue and accept upon myself more resolutions like dressing modestly (even in hot weather) and staying away from mixed gatherings.”
She strengthened and her partner in class strengthened himself to the point that they both stopped touching members of the other gender, come what may. “Until one day when I was 18 he came with a 200 shekel ring he bought with his army stipend and he proposed to me, Shira tells. She said “Yes” and today they are the proud parents of three sweet boys who are of course receiving a Torah education.
What does Shira have to say to those hesitant to take the big step forward in their spirituality? “Everyone has hardships. We did too. We waited many years to have children and that is not an easy test. But someone who goes with G-d won’t be disappointed. Thank G-d we overcame the hardships and we feel very fortunate with our choice. So, why don’t YOU try it too?