My mother was a Sabra – a person born in Israel – but while raised as a Jew, it was a “social” Jewishness. Sure, we celebrated Hanukah, and Passover; we would eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah and would attend Kol Nidre services on Yom Kippur… but aside from that, there was nothing. No Shabbat candle lighting, no prayers, no blessings, and certainly not even an attempt to keep kosher.
Thus, these two pictures of my first prayer at the Kotel (Western Wall) wearing tefillin. I cannot describe what this meant to me, to be connected to my faith and to Jewish history.
I still have so much to learn – so much that, thanks to my late parents’ apathy and disinterest, I never learned. It will be a lifetime’s journey to learn my faith’s birthright that I was denied growing up.