Ever since I was young, I've always had an ear for songs that were singing about 'me', my life. In the UK, there was a lot of Queen, George Michael and Alanis Morrisette (which I'm ashamed to say, I played continuously for about 10 years…)
I chucked all my non-Jewish music away a couple of years' ago, and I haven' t looked back. But it's taken a while for me to start to really appreciate real Jewish music. In great part, it's because my Hebrew wasn't good enough to understand what people were actually singing about - so most of what I enjoy and really connect to just wasn't accessible to me.
But with the passage of time, and a lot of help from G-d, I'm starting to understand a lot more of the words. And I'm discovering an amazing thing: there are a whole bunch of Jews out there singing about my life.
They're singing songs about praying; about needing emuna; about trying to tear down the invisible walls that can spring up between couples; about yearning for a world which is better. A world which is 'fixed'. A world which is full of joy and happiness and G-d-awareness.
A little while back, some (extremely assimilated) relatives of ours, in the old country, started telling people that they thought we had 'mental health' issues. I was upset about it for weeks - not so much that we'd been insulted, although that was clearly also part of it.
More, I was upset that there were Jews in the world who could believe that talking to G-d was a sign of madness; or that believing in a soul was delusional. How had things got so bad, that there were Jews who could really believe we were mad, simply for trying to act and believe the way a Jew is meant to do?
For a few weeks', I felt very lonely. When you reach the point that people start questioning your sanity, how are you meant to discuss anything, or try to explain why you do what you do?
This was all happening around the time that my husband started up his new business, and I'd decided to do a massive round of praying sessions at various holy tombs. That week, I was off to Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, in Tiberias.
On the way out, there are lots of stalls selling pictures of holy people; headscarfs, ice lollies and CDs. I stopped to see what they had, and I ended up buying another CD by Gad Elbaz.
I played it in the car on the way home - and by the time it had finished, I felt like I'd somehow rejoined the human race. It was amazing, to hear someone else singing about all the things I care about - like making the most out of life, believing in G-d, wanting to have redemption and Moshiach, already.
This week, I had another one of those little musical presents from G-d. I was in Bnei Brak, walking around, and I happened to find a Jewish music shop that had the latest album by the Alma Band, called 'Shaar', or 'Gate'.
The first song was about asking G-d to 'give me emuna', and to 'let me stand up in this test'. I liked. The other songs on the album were also pretty good - but there was one, the title track, that really blew me away.
It was singing about all the different gates: the gate of truth; of anger; of happiness; of humility; of pride.
The chorus went like this: 'Open for me a gate. A gate without gates. A gate of love'.
I was playing it in the car when I realized what it was actually saying, and I got very emotional.
Recently, I feel like I've been knocking on that particular gate for years, and that G-d hasn't opened it. It's giving me a lot of heartache at the moment. When I heard someone else singing about wanting the gates of love, truth and joy to be opened for them, I realized I'm not alone in my yearning.
There's at least one other person out there who feels how alone we all are at the moment, for all that we are so superficially 'connected'. There's at least one other person who is knocking on G-d's Heavenly Gate of love, asking Him to put His love in the world, for all the lonely, unloved people.
I know I'm saying this a lot at the moment, but we are all so broken on the inside. A little while back, I found out that 'half' of my village is on anti-depressants. I live in a fairly wealthy, 'safe', fairly uncomplicated, 'religious' village in Israel, with a lot of great people.
How can so many people here be so miserable that they are taking drugs to try and turn off their feelings? I was astounded.
But it really showed me that the 'perfect' lives we think everyone else is living is a complete illusion, manufactured by the evil inclination. And so many of us are killing ourselves to keep up with that illusion; or eating our hearts out because we aren't keeping up with that illusion - and in the meantime, while we are hitting rock-bottom on the inside, all our friends and neighbours think that we are the ones with the 'perfect' life…
G-d, we need Your love in the world. Lots of it. Nothing else is going to fix us. Nothing else is going to make the heartache go away. Nothing else is going to stop all the stupid comparisons, the jealousy, the all-encompassing feelings of failure and 'lack'.
So please, open Your gate of love for us; without any pre-conditions, and let Your love pour down.