I never expected to become observant, certainly not when I married my husband. Shabbat and holidays were not anywhere on the radar.
I can probably back track to any event in my life and think, yes, that is when the seed was planed. The big move happened though, after we came back from our trip to Venice, Italy in 2008.
My husband and I had travelled to Italy and I wanted to see the Jewish Ghetto in Venice. Why not, right? I'm Jewish, it is part of my history. We made our way to the Ghetto. You know how on vacation you forget what day of the week it is? It hadn't occurred to me that it was Friday, and as we walked through the area, people were wishing us Good Shabbos.
I was moved. I can't explain why.
We were about the leave the Ghetto when a wind had picked up and started to blow around the chairs of this small cafe that was near one of the Venice canals. One table had already fallen in, with a group of men staring at it with the look of "I ain't going in there" on their faces. The owner of the cafe was running around trying to save her chairs. I thought we should help to her. I grabbed my husband and we picked up chairs.
The woman thanked me and asked what I was doing for Shabbat. Something happened at that moment that I can't explain. When we returned to Ottawa, I found myself Googling Jewish Women Classes.
I emailed Jewish Education through Torah and a lovely woman named Lauren Shaps responded. She told me to call her. She asked me to tell her about myself. I told her how I had gone to Jewish day school but I had been disconnected from anything Jewish for quite some time. I was scared to tell her that my husband isn't Jewish. I told her that there is something she should know. I blurted it out expecting her to call me a heretic and hang up the phone. I had images of her changing her number so that I'd never call again.
Quite obviously, that did not happen. Lauren said, "you are exactly who we are looking for!". At that moment, I felt found.