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Women’s Wisdom

No Way Out
By Ayelet Newman, EYAHT alumna

After ten exhausting years in show business, I wanted out. I looked behind me and saw a lack of formal education (I had given up my schooling to pursue acting full-time at a young age). I looked ahead of me and couldn't even begin to imagine what I would do with my life. I saw no way out.

In the story of Passover, one of the most famous scenes we all know about is the splitting of the sea. Knowing the end, it's exciting to us now. But what about all of those people who went through the experience themselves? How would you feel?

The Jews had been enslaved in Egypt for 210 years. Then Moses and Aaron led them out, with the Egyptians in hot pursuit. The Jews look behind them and see the Egyptians coming after them. They look ahead of them and see the Sea of Reeds. No way out! It was beyond human comprehension to imagine there could be any way to be saved. And that's when God dramatically swooped in to rescue His children, in a manner in which they never, ever, would have dared to imagine. He split the sea, saved the Jews, and drowned the Egyptians.

It's common to group Emuna (faith) and Bitachon (trust) together and think they are essentially the same. I recently learned the difference. Emuna, faith, is the intellectual understanding that God loves you enough to help you through and that everything is going to work out okay. Bitachon, trust, is putting that awareness into action. It's not enough to have that faith in your head; the challenge is to make it a real part of you, to get out there in the world and live with the trust that the Almighty will get you through.

There are times in my life where things seem hopeless. No way out. I view it as a test of my faith, and a chance to strengthen my trust in God. Although I don't see the way out, He is in charge. The plan is in His hands and beyond my comprehension.

When I was truly ready for my liberation, my exodus from the slavery of show business, it was then that suddenly out of nowhere, I got my freedom handed to me. I was given the chance to get an all-expense paid trip to Israel with a month-long stay at the Jewel program for women. I then continued to explore my roots and learn about my heritage for several more months in Jerusalem. I have settled in my new lifestyle, and have chosen a path which not only allows me to pursue my career, but also offers me a deep connection to my heritage and my soul. Now, I have a better career than I could have ever imagined. Not only have I not given up my goals and aspirations, I am more successful than ever. And it is something I would never in a million years have ever thought possible.

When I look behind me and see no help, and I look ahead of me and see no hope, I am now very sure to look above me. Maybe there's a miracle awaiting me that I couldn't fathom in my wildest dreams.

Reprinted with permission from Aish.com, a leading Judaism website.