Hannah Weinstock, Mayanot Women's Program Alum from Queens, New York
I have never been what is considered normal. When everyone else was looking straight I was looking up. I've always believed in the mysterious, in the unknown. I'd watch movies and read books about magic. Hoping that if I wiggles my fingertips at the right door it would snap shut, or if I stared hard enough at the light it would go on.
As I got older, this air of mystery never left me. I stopped wiggling my fingers at the doors and staring at the light switches. But my life has always been without, it's as if I have always been half awake. I was never unhappy, even during those angsty teenage years I always had a lot to appreciate. I had a loving, supportive family, awesome, fun loving friends, I went to a good school, and lived in a wonderful community. It was a very good life...but it was unfulfilled.
For the last year and a half I have gone through a life changing process that has brought everything into perspective and brought nothing but humility and fulfillment into my life. That being said, there have been many challenges. I remember holding a blue siddur (prayer book) in my Chabad house and crying because I had no idea how to use it; I didn't even know where to start. I knew once I finished college I would be able to take on leaning full time. Ever since I stepped foot in the Beit Midrash (Main Study Hall) during a Mayanot Birthright trip, I've known where I wanted to do it.
Mayanot has brought me nothing but happiness. it hasn't been long, but with everything I've already learned, my davening (Prayer) is stronger, my connection with Hashem (G-d) is clearer, and my understanding of myself as a Jew is more revealed. No, I can't shut a door with the wiggle of my finger, but I can help bring Moshiach (the Messiah), and that is magical.