A brave young woman named Lizzy captured the hearts and minds of strangers around the world today, after she chose to tell her inspiring story.
Born into a secular Israeli family with what she describes as “complicated” dynamics, as a child Lizzy prayed in secret: “As the fighting happened outside my door, I would sit in the dark of my little room and talk to G-d,” she writes.
It is a touching scene, and a glimpse into Lizzy’s future. As the girl began to grow in observance, she was met with ridicule: “My family was disgusted by me. I kept Shabbos and they laughed.“
Despite attempts to discourage her, Lizzy chose to continue to grow in Torah mitzvos. Ultimately, her family cut off contact entirely. Her beloved father passed away recently after a heart attack. The ‘baalas teshuva’ was left utterly alone.
Lizzy was sure that she would not be punished for pursuing a more spiritual life — and she was correct. Before long, an incredible Bnei Brak family offered to take then teenaged Lizzy in. She became like a daughter to them, and received the support that she needed to continue to grow into a mature and brave young woman.
Recently, Lizzy became engaged. Though her foster family loves her dearly, they live modestly and have children of their own to marry off. If Lizzy is to achieve her dream of having a home and family based on Torah mitzvos, she will need to marry herself off alone. With mere pennies saved up in her bank account, the kallah has been overwhelmed by her expenses.
The couple are scheduled to be married in just days at the Armonot Chen discounted wedding halls in Bnei Brak. The kallah lacks even enough money to put down the deposit on the wedding dress she intends to borrow from a “gemach.” She has no funds for an apartment to move into, appliances, or furniture. In her own words, “Not luxuries, just regular things.”
That same bravery and independence which motivated Lizzy to begin her spiritual journey, however, has kept her from being discouraged by her lack of support. “And so I believe that I am doing the right thing, and that we will find a way to make this wedding happen,” reads her optimistic letter.
In a few days, young Lizzy will walk to the chuppah, in a borrowed gown, in a modest hall, thrilled with her opportunity to build a “bayis ne’eman b’yisroel.” She will be without a parent on either arm. Those who answer her desperate call can figuratively take this young bride’s hand and walk with her, toward a brighter future in which she needs suffer no longer.
And as she stands under her chuppah, her face streaked with tears of both joy and pain, she will whisper fervent prayers for all those who choose to help her. One can only hope to merit to be in the bridal prayers of a young girl who has truly sacrificed everything for Torah.
Donations are being collected here until the wedding.