I’ve previously written about the power of turning challenges into something meaningful and positive, and it’s important for me to give credit where it’s due. That inspiration, and part of the inspiration for even starting this blog, can be attributed to Charlene Aminoff- Rebbetzin, Tzadekes (righteous woman), inspirer, beauty (inside and out), mother, owner of Gali Couture wigs, and so much more . Charlene is a prime example of someone that took a life changing experience and grew from it, and then went even further and on a daily basis, uses that experience to constantly inspire others. Her story can best be described by herself in this link: http://www.torahanytime.com/video/near-tragedy-as-it-transforms-lives/ . It is truly worth hearing from her personally but for now, I will give you a brief synopsis. In 2010, Charlene and her family were vacationing in Miami when tragically, their 2 year old daughter, Avigail (“Gali”) was found at the bottom of the pool. Charlene’s husband, Jonathan Aminoff, a veteran Hatzalah (volunteer ambulance) worker, immediately began resuscitating his own daughter. As Jonathan attempted to revive Gali, Charlene looked on in sheer terror. In a moment of desperation, she cried out to G-d, begging to save Gali. At that moment, she made a vow to begin keeping the Jewish commandment of covering her hair. After some agonizing minutes, Gali began spitting up water and breathing on her own. She was then rushed to the hospital where she was, thank G-d, found to have not suffered any damage. The doctors couldn’t believe it. The security cameras showed that Gali was under the water for exactly 3 minutes and 10 seconds! And what a miracle that she was okay. Charlene kept her word and as Gali was being loaded onto the stretcher, she immediately began to cover her hair (she didn’t even wait!!). She then began to encourage other women to cover their hair as well and thus started Gali’s Couture Wigs (located in Great Neck, NY but sold worldwide). If you ever have the chance to visit with Charlene, this is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Every time I speak with Charlene or email, I'm in awe- her spirituality and positivity is paramount and you walk away from every conversation so inspired and strengthened (even when she’s talking about the most mundane topics).
So what does this have to do with my blog? There’s more to her story that many don’t know but yet, will be inspired by. I had the privilege of being told this story by Charlene herself and it has forever changed me as a person.
“My firstborn son Jacob was born after a handful of miscarriages. I was told that I wouldn't be able to have any children of my own and I had two options: Adoption or surrogacy. After my worst miscarriage, I began "Bracha (blessing) hopping" from every Rabbi, Kabbalist, etc. One of them told me something wild. He told me that my babies keep aborting themselves because my body is not as holy as my soul. I was still wearing pants (Jewish women have taken on wearing skirts for various reasons including modesty) and was told that in order to have a child, I would need to "bridge the gap" between my soul that apparently was on a very high level, and my body- which was not. So I took him up on his challenge and packed up about thousands of dollars worth of pants (every last one) that I had in my coveted closet. But I couldn't give them away just yet. I started wearing skirts, but cheated about once a week and snuck a pair of pants out of the bags to wear to a certain event. And every month, I still wasn’t pregnant. Then, on New Years Eve, 3 months later, we were going to party. I had my best leather pants on, ready to roll. Suddenly, I said "let me prove to that Rabbi that he's wrong. Let me wear skirts the right way, prove to him his blessing didn’t work, and then ask him for an unconditional blessing". So I did. And then sent those bags out of my house. No more pants in the house means no more temptations. My Jacob was conceived that night. He is now 10.5 years old, Thank G-d. Then came the rest of them- 5 cuties in 6.5 years. All miracles in their own right. When I had my 5th, my husband took a picture of my kids and sent it to my infertility "specialist" with the caption "G-d is the ultimate doctor.
Charlene then continued with this amazing lesson. "My whole life has been a journey. It’s always a work in progress. But I've quickly learned that G-d doesn’t want us to stress, He wants us so stretch. So I did and I do and I keep doing. No one is exempt from life’s tests but it's what you do with them that can turn G-d’s mercy switch ON. You simply need to STRETCH. However you can, offer G-d one tiny step closer to Him. It doesn't have to be monumental. Just enough to show Him that you recognize this test is from Him and it's for your good, so you're going to grow somehow, in order to show him that you "got the message".
Please give our first guest blogger some love in the comment section below! I told you she's amazing! :)
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