The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 23 February 2008 / 17 Adar I 5768

A Family Switch

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A former student of Ohr Somayach recently sent us an e-mail with his personal "human side of the story":

In September 2003 he joined the "Shoresh" Introductory Program of the yeshiva and a few months later joined the large Jewish Learning Exchange group (which comes around this time for 2-3 weeks of learning and traveling) on a tour of Israel. At the tomb of Rabbi Yonatan ben Uziel in Amuka where people in need of a soul-mate come to pray, he prayed for his father, divorced from his mother for ten years, to remarry.

A week or two later he got a call from his father asking him if he knew a certain young man in his yeshiva whose mother he was dating. "My future step-brother, I soon discovered, was one of the most serious students at the yeshiva", he recalls, "and I couldn't figure out how my dad, who was not even Shabbat observant when I left home, could be dating his mother."

"Four months later my father announced his engagement. What a switch on the stereotype of a yeshiva for Ba’alei Teshuva! Instead of the picture so many have of a student quickly becoming religious and going on to build a Torah-true family, here I was just getting religious while learning in yeshiva and it was my dad getting engaged in four months!"

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