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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Partners In Torah

Posted by Hello
I am spending this Shabbos in Lakewood with a friend who I met in an unusual manner. When I was on my way to becoming religious, I was living in Birmingham, which has very little in the way of Orthodox opportunities (I am sure this is a shock to you). I had returned from spending two months learning in Israel, and I was craving some kind of connection with other Orthodox people. (Don't get me wrong, there is an Orthodox shul in Birmingham, but it is tiny, and the members are slightly off my age range.) One day in shul, I came across a bookmark advertising Partners in Torah. I thought it sounded like such a great program - for no cost whatsoever, they would set me up with someone who I could learn over the phone with once a week. Great! Just what I wanted, a regular chance to learn Torah. Well, it turned out to give me so much more than I ever expected. Learning Torah was such a small part of the gift Partners in Torah gave me. Partners in Torah gave me a lifeline. Living by myself in Birmingham, I now had a weekly voice encouraging me to grow and enhance my life. To add meaning and purpose and strengthen my ties to our amazing covenant with Hashem. I looked so forward to that weekly call because it was a little light that connected me with the bigger community that I knew to be spanning the world, that had sustained for the past couple thousand years. More than this lifeline, Partners in Torah gave me a friend for life. I have shared so much with my friend - I attended her wedding, have held her baby, spent Yom Tov and several Shabbosim with her and her family. Her friends have become my friends. Our lives have become intertwined in many ways. We have a special connection. Whenever I really need it, my friend has an uncanny way of calling or sending me a letter out of the blue with exactly the message I need to hear. I am not sure how she does it. So I am in many ways indebted to Partners in Torah. I wish I could do more to pay them back for the life they have given me. I would not be the same without them. I encourage everyone to support and participate in this amazing program.

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