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If you treat her like a queen...

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 - 10:33 pm

In the 60’s we were taught that “Behind every great man there's a great woman” and that “If you treat a woman like a queen, she'll treat you like a king”. Even the Talmud mentions that Rav Akivah said about his wife Rachel, who encouraged him to study Torah for twenty-four uninterrupted years, “What is mine and what is yours is hers”. Yet, as Chavie flew to rainy New York to attend the Chabad Shluchos conference, I was pondering “women's lib” and how as we inch closer to the era of Mashiach, it is becoming more apparent how vital women’s roles are in Jewish life, not as “support staff” but as key representatives of Torah and its values.

In this week’s Torah portion, Yitro, we read about the Sinai revelation and the giving of the Torah. G-d bequeathed the world with His infinite wisdom and chose Moses as His messenger to deliver the gift. Who did Moses marry? we are taught that Tziporah was born into royalty, a daughter of Jethro, and she was a devoted mother to her sons, Gershom and Eliezer, and a dedicated backbone to Moses. The Midrash tells us that when Moses first arrived in Midian, Jethro the pagan wanted to kill Moses the Jew. He placed Moses in a decrepit dungeon, and it was Tziporah, his future wife, who sustained him in secret and later married him. She certainly stood by Moses in every way and allowed us to benefit from her Moses.

Yet, today we need more.  

You see, Chavie is not the force behind my rabbinic work and I am not the force behind her countless activities. We each have different roles both at home and in the community, but they are equally important. Yes, we support each other in every way possible, but more than anything else, we are partners, teammates, that work hand in hand to reach the same goals. There were times in Jewish history that men, like Moses and David, were the primary face of Judaism and times that women, like Deborah and Yehudis, were the face of our people. In our era, as we seek to infuse the world with the firm, yet delicate energies of femininity, we must have women at the forefront of the Jewish experience, inspiring the world so that the Shechina, the feminine powers of spirituality can reign in her, the holy city of Jerusalem, once again!

L’Chaim to Chavie and her fellow Hassidic feminists!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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