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After that revelation, my last month in Hong Kong was easier for me. I realized that when your only connection is Hashem, you cling with all your might. I was reminded of what we say before the Torah reading, “You who cling to Hashem, your God, you are all alive today.” It is only when we truly hold onto Hashem that were able to truly live.

And so the place in which I feared my ultimate failure became my most intense place of growth, because I held on to Hashem. Although I had strongly believed that I had to be in Israel to strengthen my values, my true growth happened in Hong Kong. Even when I thought I was falling, I was working on areas that never would have grown elsewhere.  For example, it was only in the ultimate galut of China that I was able to fully realize what some of us may never realize: how much we need to love every Jew. When you are seated at a Shabbat table with 20 other Jews from all over the world, it doesn’t matter what kippah they wear or where they daven or whether they even keep Shabbat. All that matters is for that one meal, you become a family. We were among the very few Jews observing Shabbat in Hong Kong. We were the walking Kiddush Hashem in China and by our presence, we were spreading the light of Torah.

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Liran Weizman is a senior at Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. She is an intern in the OU's Department of Communications and Marketing.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Shabbat isn't supposed to be a punishment; it's supposed to be a joyous occasion. Then again, I spend many a Shabbat working out on the Stairmaster, doing 70 floors. That's self-inflicted.

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