As a Rabbi and community activist, I have attended hundreds, if not thousands,of speeches and lectures in my life, anywhere from United States Presidents to Sisterhood presidents. I can honestly say that Penina Taylor has consistently been one of the best of them, her story unfolding with all its twists and turns, generously peppered with insight, depth and humor.
Many speak from a text, looking more at the words and almost forgetting about the people in the audience. Penina speaks from unusual and searing experiences as a Jewish woman who abandoned Judaism, embraced Christianity, became one of its eloquent and impassioned emissaries, and then made the long trek back to the faith of Abraham and Sarah as an Orthodox Jew. These few simple words of summary about Penina's story, however, betray the heartache and pain of her journey, the battles with her parents, her friends, her communities and with God.
When Penina speaks, even as she writes, you are grabbed by an intrepid and tenacious woman of deep faith. I have heard Penina speak to a dozen people as well as hundreds, and she has been masterful in imparting the bruises and the blessings of her life, and how both have been brought to her doorstep by a loving God. Our Holy Torah teaches, (Deuteronomy 4:29) "…you will seek Hashem, your God, and you will find Him, if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul."
Indeed, Penina Taylor searched, and struggled, and studied, and ultimately sought the grace of a loving and compassionate God who brought her home. In this book, you will find the real Penina Taylor that so many across the world have been privileged to hear. In her stories and gutsy revelations, you will find a refreshingly honest and principled woman who pulls no punches, blessed and gifted as a speaker and a writer. And hopefully, you will find yourself moved and inspired, grateful to have met Penina.
My wife Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler and I know her, admire her, applaud her, and wish her every success. She has touched our lives as I know she will yours.
Rabbi Elan Adler