MY JEWISH JOURNEY
I was about 2 when my parents split up. My mother was Jewish and my father was Catholic. Neither one of them practiced religion, and they didn't force it upon me either. Growing up I always chose to celebrate holidays on my mother's side of the family. Although my parents never encouraged it I always embraced the Jewish side more than the Catholic side. Being that my mother is Jewish made me Jewish right? Up until my mid 20's I was going through somewhat of a quarter life crisis. I wasn't on good terms with my parents, I wasn't happy with myself, and I felt like I had nobody to talk to. My friend Shoshanna, suggested that I call the rabbi.
I needed some sort of extra curricular activity that was going to be a positive influence in my life. I called a few synagogues in my area but one in particular really caught my interest. After much research I found Rabbi Corey Helfand at Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City. Rabbi Corey called me one afternoon and explained that there was an "Adult Bat Mitzvah Class" and that I should check it out. Having no Jewish education at all I decided it was worth a try.
That next Wednesday evening I attended my first class. After the class was over I met with Rabbi Corey Helfand. I explained to him my goals and told him a little bit about myself. When he asked me about my personal life, I felt like I could really open up and be my true self. After a few months with the help of Rabbi Corey and Cantor Doron I learned to read hebrew. For the first time in my life I loved learning about something. These weekly classes gave me structure and something to look forward to. Jewish morals and the wisdom of the Torah would have been a good thing for me to learn as a child.
After a few months I decided I wanted to get more involved in the community. I asked the Rabbi if there were any volunteer opportunities. During the high holidays I got the chance to volunteer at the "welcoming table." I got to greet all of the members arriving to the shul. On top of that I met some really amazing ladies who know just about every member in the community. These ladies even invited be over for shabbat dinners. I had never felt so much love and welcoming in a community before.
Belonging to a conservative synagogue tzniut fashion was never a thing. It wasn't until my trip to Brooklyn last summer where I started seeing all of the chic Crown Height's woman. When I got home I started researching these fashionable modest bloggers and dreamed of having the dedication they had. They were sophisticated, elegant, and classy. I followed them for a few months and slowly started to dress more and more conservatively.
I had just gone through a break up with my on and off again drop dead gorgeous, manipulative, waste my time, cheating boyfriend. He ruined my self esteem and confidence. But the more I wore pretty skirts and really tried to put my self together the better I felt. These outfits made me feel like a lady. It gave me confidence, and I felt strong. For the first time in a long time I respected myself and loved myself. I hated getting up in the morning to go to work. But now, once I get out of the shower and put on that outfit I feel amazing about myself. And not to mention F*** boys are not interested in a fully covered up woman. They know we respect ourselves way too much for us to be manipulated by their meshuganas.
It's never too late to better your life or learn more about a religion, that may seem somewhat foreign to you. Some of my friends and family think I am a little extreme in my new ways. But I am happy. I am at peace with myself and have more confidence than I ever have. I hope my posts inspire you to be the most confident woman you can be. If you need any style or life advice I am here for my community, don't hesitate to contact me.