“Hi, my name is Sara Rivka . I’m Chassidic. I met my husband 3 times when I was 18, before we got engaged and than I didn’t see him until the wedding day a year later. We have been married three years and have two kids. I’m open for any questions?”
The brave secular young women are bedazzled by this young Chassidic beautifully coffered dressed woman and eagerly take her up on her offer.
“Was it hard not to see him?” “Are you sure he was the right one?” “Didn’t you want to go to college?” “Don’t you feel put upon and have no choices in your life?” “Is that a wig and a hat? Why do you wear so much clothing?” “Did you love your husband at your wedding day?” “But you didn’t know him; how could you agree?” “Do you let your parents make all your decisions?” and then those totally out of the box questions: “Do you believe in mermaids?”
Yesterday I met three dynamic, young, stunning thoughtful women at Aish HaTorah in the old city of Jerusalem. They are young mothers that took their days off to come to tutor girls who are arriving for the summer to explore their backgrounds. Coming fresh from Burro Park and Far Rockaway they are getting involved in one to one kiruv hoping to have input with the next generation. Not, only are they daring, they have solutions, stories, and sources for the secular searching women.
They not only invited me out for a coffee but insisted on sharing their salad and conversation.
“I know sometimes when I passed these kids with my husband, their thinking what a ‘dark hard world you have. Look you are covered from head to toe in the heat, married with children so young – life must be hard. What a dark sad world you live in’ – and I want to tell them dark? Hardly! we have a life, we are building a new generation and a marriage. Our lives are so full and rewarding!” Channah Rachel illuminates why she has joined these tutoring sessions.
Sara Rivka, the daring spokeswoman for Klal Yisrael, answers, “Sometimes, that is just what I do. I go up to them on the street when I see them staring and start a conversation. Why not? What have I got to loose.”
They all are married a few years, made Aliyah living far from their large Chassidic families with fearless determination to help their fellow Jews.
The students who most likely have many more years on their age, but so much less understanding of the realities of the world are captivated. A new world is being offered. One comes from a broken intermarried home, another’s mother recently died and with her the last vestige of Judaism no matter how water-down it is. One is planning on moving in with her Christian boyfriend but wants her children brought up Jewish. Another tells of the tremendous hesed their temple does by encouraging the rabbi’s daughter to dress transgender and calls her – he. And these are the crème of secular Judaism. How do we know? They came searching and made the trip to Israel (the land of territories – as they have heard it called). Considering how low the Jews of America are; I’m very excited by these Chasidic women.