02-999-8743, 02-573-4041, 02-999-3930. Those are a few of the numbers I can rattle off to you in my sleep. Those are the numbers of a few of my teachers, my mentors, my life changers. Those are numbers I dialed nearly every other day for years and still call quite often today.
For nearly 8 years I lived a double life; my home life and my school life, my outwardly secular lifestyle and my Torah lifestyle. Despite the bitterness and coldness in my parents’ home, the sweetness and warmth that I received at Shuvu Beit Shemesh and later in Shuvu High School Yerushalayim led me to the picturesque Torah life that I lead today.
I tried my best throughout my school years to keep whatever Mitzvot I was able to keep without angering my parents. Unfortunately, they ran a tight ship and Yidishkeit was indisputably not on their list of allowances within their home. Things came to a head when they informed me that they had arranged a husband for me, Yisrael Nissimov. I was quite apprehensive about how to handle that, so I did as I always did; I called one of my teachers.
As always, my dear teacher came up with a solution. She suggested that I inform the prospective Chatan that I intend to keep Shabbat and Taharat HaMishpacha in my home. If the boy agreed, then I would go ahead. If the boy was intimidated by that, he would turn me down and I would not have to take it up with my parents. After explaining to Yisrael what these Mitzvot entail, he actually agreed to give it a try!
It took quite a while for Yisrael to adjust. When we first married, I would make Shabbat Kiddush while Yisrael went to the pub. About five long years later, we decided to attend an Arachim Seminar. We were both very inspired to make big changes and hoped that in that Zechut Hashem would finally bless us with children. I started covering my hair and Yisrael started keeping Shabbat fully.
It was nearly a year later that we celebrated the birth of our daughter Noah. This year we were also blessed with a son, Menachem. At this point, Yisrael is Frummer than I am! Looking back, I think Hashem was waiting so we could bring children into a family that is completely Shomer Torah U’Mitzvot.
This summer I was looking for a job as an assistant in a preschool and applied to two schools. Without realizing, one was a Shuvu school, Shuvu Rechovot! They were so excited that they actually raised the salary for the position to match the other offer so that I would work for them! With utmost gratitude to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, I feel that I have come full circle; giving back to those who have given me so much!
Shuvu is now celebrating its 25th Anniversary since its founding in 1990 by Horav Avrohom Pam zt”l. Over that period there have been many challenges to overcome, but, also a tremendous amount of nachas as we see Rav Pam’s dreams being fulfilled. Matzav.com is proud to present a series of nachas stories told in first person by the participant themselves so that you can see for yourself what Shuvu has been able to accomplish with your help.