Continued from newsletter…
Looking for a Jewish community where she could teach English abroad, Ayelet settled on Mexico. At 22, Ayelet spoke little Spanish and knew no one in the country but that didn’t hold her back, she arrived and having no teaching experience or Spanish skills, she learned on the job, mastering Spanish in a year. After 3 years in Mexico, a group of converts convinced Ayelet to go to Israel and have a proper conversion. Ayelet had been living as a Jew for a while, so passing the exam was easy. Scheduling an exam though, that proved to be much harder. Ayelet came to Israel for three weeks during which most batei din were closed. Eventually, she found one beis din with one appointment available. She passed the exam on Thursday, spent Shabbos between two worlds and Sunday, she left the mikvah a Jew and got straight into her nesher to the airport.
A while later, Ayelet returned to Israel to learn in Shearim. Confidently entering the misrad hapnim to obtain a visa, she was horrified to find that her conversion was not on record. As far as the state was concerned, she was not Jewish. Again.
Returning to Shearim in tears, Rebbetzin Kaganoff assured her that this was just paperwork and perhaps was for the best. Her conversion might not have been so widely recognized. And so, Rebbetzin Kaganoff took Ayelet on a bus to Bnei Barak where she had a special kind of conversion called Giyur L’chumra which is to clarify someone’s status. Ayelet converted for the third and final time with the beis din of Rav Nissim Karelitz.
Finally, finally, a fully-fledged member of the tribe, Ayelet married in Mexico in 2010, making Aliyah just 9 days later. The next five years saw Ayelet in various jobs but she wasn’t satisfied. She wanted to teach. But who would take her? Rejected from several seminaries, Ayelet began subbing in Shearim, but they had no full time openings for her.
Determined, Ayelet had the chutzpah to make an appointment in Neve with Rabbi Edelstein about giving out leaflets in Mexcio. In truth, Ayelet just wanted to get her foot in the door and hoped that maybe in a year, she could teach here and there in Neve. But Hashem was pulling the strings and before her meeting began, a secretary came to tell Rabbi Edelstein that a teacher had not turned up for a class that was about to begin. Ayelet stepped in to save the day and within a month, she was on the staff. When Hashem decides it is time for something to happen, everything will fall into place instantly.
Ayelet looks back on her life with awe at Hashem’s hands pulling the strings. “There are no mistakes”, she asserts, “Hashem doesn’t take coffee breaks and whoops I ended up being born a Christian. Everything in my life was perfectly tailored to make me into what Hashem wanted me to be today. I use my life experiences and skills to help others. Every single thing in my life brought me here today and every single thing was a deliberate move of Hashem. It was all for the best.