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  • Jodi Samuels

Never Say Never

Neither Gavin nor I grew up in religious homes. I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of religious families, always adamant that I would never be one of “them”.

Once, a cute guy on the bus to school who wore a kippa asked if I was planning to come to synagogue that Friday night - and so my journey began. I was 16 when I had my first real Jewish contact.

Meanwhile, Gavin was in medical school when he started thinking more deeply about life and exploring religion. The week we met, he had just observed his first Shabbat.

This past week we watched our son - raised in a religious home, fully immersed in Israeli society with language and culture, marry Efrat, an Israeli from a very religious home that speaks limited English.

As I sat at one of the Sheva Brachot (a celebratory meal with 7 blessings following the wedding), I found myself reflecting on our journey, remembering how sure I was when I was young that this would never be my world - and feeling so grateful for where this journey has brought me and my family.

Never say never.


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