The Role of Jewish Women

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Chabad of Mid-Hudson Valley Newsletter

Friday, 
February 1, 2013
 
Shevat 21, 5773
A word from the Rabbi 
                                                                              B”H

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Shabbat Services: 10:00 AM.

Please join us for Shabbat Services followed by a kiddush & famous Cholent by the famous chef Manny Markus.

 

Chabad Hebrew School:  Sunday’s 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM.

  

Bagels, Lox and Torah (& Tefillin, too!):

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Led by Rabbi Yacov Borenstein followed by a Torah discussion on the coming week’s Torah portion, upcoming holiday or any topic of Jewish interest.

Sunday Morning’s. Services @ 9:30 AM followed by Breakfast @ 10:00 AM at Chabad Lubavitch Center, 63 Vassar Rd., Poughkeepsie.

DOES PRAYER SPEAK TO YOU?
DISCOVER THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF PRAYER IN OUR LIVES
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Join us for a weekly Women’s study group exploring the world of Prayer and its meaning and purpose in our lives. Gain a deeper understanding into the significance of our daily and Shabbat Prayers. Learn about the special relationship  between prayer and women.  Coffee, tea and snacks will be served.

When: Wednesday Mornings, 10:00 AM
Instructor: Hindy Borenstein
Class will take place at the home of Hindy Borenstein, 36 Pleasant Ridge Dr., P’ok.
Let us know you are coming by calling 463-5801 or e-mail chabadmidhudsonvly@prodigy.net.
Jewish Women’s Circle Presents:
THE ART OF CHALAH BAKING
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 7:00 PM
@ the home of Hindy Borenstein
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RESERVE THE DATE:
“Purim in the Stadium”
Sunday February 24th, 4:00 PM at the
Ramada Conference Center
Fishkill, NY

 

purim 2013
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Dear Friends,

This Shabbat marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia Schneerson, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. 

 

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Yisro, it speaks of the women’s role in Judaism. Moses ascended to G-d. G-d called to him from the mountain and said,

“You shall say to the House of Jacob, and you shall relate to the Israelites…  

Rashi, the most common commentator explains that when it mentions that You shall first say each lesson gently to the “House of Jacob,” it refers to the women.

It is the very same Torah that is taught to both men and women; the difference is only in the manner and approach. True, women’s biological role in bearing children, their social role in rearing them, and their role as homemakers all exempt them from the obligation of constant study and the obligation to delve into the more theoretical aspects of the Torah. 

Nonetheless, this should in no way be construed as an exemption from mastering those aspects of Jewish law and theology that women must know in order to lead proper Jewish lives. Indeed, because of their central role in educating children and thereby assuring Jewish continuity, the necessity for women to study the Torah takes precedence over that of the men!

 

Even with regard to the more abstract, theoretical realms of Torah study, since we live nowadays in an age with more leisure time than there was formerly and many women are using their free time for more abstract intellectual pursuits, they should study those aspects of the Torah formerly deemed men’s province. This will ensure that they develop their intellectual abilities in accord with the Torah’s logic and purity, and conversely, encourage them to seek intellectual excitement and fulfillment in Torah study rather than in secular philosophy and culture.

 

This development in women’s Torah study is both a foretaste and a preparation for the imminent messianic Redemption. At that time, knowledge of the Torah will be universal and the intrinsic qualities of women will be revealed. They will participate in drawing Divine wisdom from the Torah on an equal footing with men.

 

Still, the Torah must indeed be taught differently to women than it is to men. Rather than stressing the negative consequences of abandoning the Torah, the stress must be on the benefits achieved by adhering to it. This difference in approach reflects the difference between men and women’s innate spirituality, but there is also a practical reason for it.

 

The mother is the primary educator of the children during their formative years. A child’s education begins inside the mother’s womb, inasmuch as the mother’s attitudes and behavior during pregnancy definitely influence her baby. The ambience and attitudes children imbibe along with their mother’s milk accompany them their whole lives, so it is crucial that mothers be learned in the Torah and themselves possess a love for G-d, His Torah, and its commandments, so they can transmit this love to their children.

 

Love of G-d and love of the Torah are the foundations of Judaism. True, it is important to teach children to fear G-d as well, but in our times, when secular culture beckons so pervasively, unrelentingly, and enticingly, it is of paramount important to raise our children to value Judaism deeply and not to view it, G-d forbid, as nothing more than a massive web of obligations or worse, a system of self-inflicted suffering.

 

Important as the mother’s influence on her children is in their formative years, her role does not end there. Throughout their lives, the entire family’s spiritual and even physical well-being remain dependent upon the mother’s ongoing ability to inculcate them with love for G-d and His Torah. Even the husband’s spirituality is greatly dependent upon his wife’s. Every woman sets the tone in her home and is thus actively responsible for the physical and spiritual health of her entire family.

 

(The connection between spiritual and physical well-being may once have been hard to comprehend, but modern medicine has made us fully aware of the benefits of spiritual serenity upon a person’s nerves, and, by extension, upon his or her entire body.)

 Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Shabbat Shalom, 

 

Rabbi Yacov & Hindy Borenstein

www.chabdmidhudsonvalley.com

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 Poughkeepsie, NY   
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Sunday morning services:
Bagels, Lox & Torah
 Service 9:30 AM
Breakfast 10:00 AM
at the Chabad Center
 
Women’s Torah class:
Torah and Tea
Wednesday’s 10:00 AM
at the Borenstein’s home
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