I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
My grandparents came to Brazil from Europe in the 1920s, and my parents were born in Brazil. My mother's Brazilian roots were in the northern state of Maranhão, which had a very small Jewish community.
There are people with hearts of stone; there are stones with human hearts.
-The Wall, by Yossi Gamzu
Guila remembers holding the prayer book for her father, who had cerebral palsy, every Yom Kippur. "What many might imagine to have been a dreary religious obligation was, for me, a highly emotional, touching experience."
Although we may not think of Judaism as a religion of confession, we often are called to profess our sins – privately, between oneself and God.
As a young girl, I was very compliant. If I was told to do something, I generally did it; if I was told not to do something, I usually didn’t. Of course, there were exceptions – ah, the motorcycle ride – but I think of myself as a rule follower.