BT in Difficult Times


Dear all brothers and sisters at ‘Beyond Teshuva’.

I am writing to you in response to Matys Weiser’s video on YouTube (another convert) – I was so touched and moved when he (as a Ger) spoke of his abject loneliness as a convert – the same applies to me as a BT. I’m sure this is true of so many of us – I don’t understand this – are Ger and BT esteemed more in Hashem’s eyes because of how we prevailed under everything blocking us???

I’m now 54 and was raised in a non-observant family in 60’s UK – my mother’s (grandmother, grt grandmother) lineage was Jewish (Greenberg/Greenbaum, via Poland and Ukraine) but my grandmother married a goyim and was expelled from the family. So, our Jewish heritage was forbidden to be spoken of.

Now, please understand that I “woke up” to my heritage whilst in China – 3 years of the most lonely struggle I could have never imagined, but there was, Baruch Hashem, Chabad and Breslov on the internet.

I thought, after returning to Canada it would be easy to become part of a Jewish community, especially after spending 3 months in Israel, mostly in Sussya and Tsfat (a wonderful Chabad community!!). I was wrong. The local synagogue doesn’t want to know me because they think I’m a Chabadnik (which I am unashamedly so…….my only “Rabbi” for 3 years was Chabad on the net!), any Rabbi I email in my two communities close to me don’t respond – I might as well have stayed in China!!

Desperately lonely Jew here………life was so much easier as an atheist…….but then, Avraham Avinu truly knew loneliness…..and HaKodesh Baruch Hu never promised us an easy road – just to keep walking. Honestly though, with the High Holidays approaching……….maybe I’m to move to another city……..another move, and another and another……

Be strong – for our only refuge is in Him.

Best always,

Julie (Rachel)

6 comments on “BT in Difficult Times

  1. If you are a Chabadnik, then the thought process should go like this: “HKB”H sent me here for a reason. Now my job is to uncover what that reason is.”

    I came to where I presently live 25 years ago, wondering why I ended up here. Much later I figured out it was because all three of my sons were destined to have this truly amazing sixth-grade Rebbi, something that would never have happened without the move.

    Who knows, maybe there is a fantastic job waiting for you….or an incredible opportunity….or a brilliant Torah teacher….but it’s not always obvious what the Divine Plan is, nor what HKBH has in mind for us when we wind up somewhere.

  2. If you live either in Montreal or Toronto, I am sure that there has to be at least one Chabad house that would you feel at home in.

  3. Julie (Rachel), I invite you to join my web site for Torah quotes:
    The DerechEmet yahoo group.

    Just click on my name, Mr. Cohen, to be redirected there.

  4. “The local synagogue doesn’t want to know me because they think I’m a Chabadnik”

    What does this mean? How do you know this? I’ve never heard of any shul rejecting anyone because they were chabad. What’s going on? Are you in Toronto or Montreal, or in a place where there’s only one shul?

  5. Im sure there is a real nice Chabad house in your area. Canadian ones can be found at

    It really sucks that your shul treats you like this – remember that they are stagnating and you dont want to be a part of a crowd that just does the robotic Judaism thing. Keep in touch with people who inspire you, especially the people who got you to taste Judaism.

    With much hatzlacha and brachot!

  6. People who are in a position to move need to consider which destinations have the right spiritual and material resources. When a choice looks right, an exploratory trip is still important—not all self-advertisement is accurate!

    But what if you’re stuck for the time being? You might find some like-minded people where you live, regardless of the community’s overall orientation, or you could continue to correspond with valued mentors or friends elsewhere.

    Going out of town for the holidays could also be an option.

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