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Dear Readers,

I overheard a discussion.

One woman was complaining about her teenage son’s aggravating behavior. “Sometimes, I could just kill him!” She vented.

Unbeknownst to her, the other woman was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment for her own son to fight his life-threatening illness. I observed her tense up at the choice of words.

Calmly, she replied: “Kids will be kids. But beneath it all, we love them so much that we would do anything to keep them healthy—even with their irritating antics.”

This week’s Torah portion speaks of the death of Moses’s brother, Aaron. “The entire Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.” (Numbers 20:29)

The entire nation mourned Aaron’s death because he was so beloved to them. The Midrash (Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 12:3) explains that he worked hard at restoring peace between quarrelling friends or spouses.

Aaron would approach each of the disagreeing individuals separately and soften them by saying, “Your friend/spouse is utterly embarrassed over what he did to you! He wishes you would be reconciled.” When the two would later meet, they would be ready to overlook their differences and re-establish their relationship.

We are permitted to modify the truth for the sake of peace, but on face value, it seems like Aaron was actually saying a complete lie, which is not permitted.

But in truth, Aaron’s words were not inherently false (Sichos Kodesh, 5741). To love our fellow is a cardinal mitzvah of the Torah, which we all want to fulfill. While on the outside, these friends or spouses were angry with each other, Aaron was able to help them dig a little deeper to expose their true feelings and wishes.

This week is Gimmel Tammuz, the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe.

In the first talk that the Rebbe delivered on his official acceptance of leadership, he articulated what would become his mission statement. He spoke about love of one’s fellow human being, as well as the interrelation between loving G‑d and loving His children.

“A person who loves G‑d will eventually come to love what G‑d loves—all His children. And his love will drive him to wish to bring G‑d’s children close to Torah—because that’s what G‑d loves.”

There are times that circumstances create barriers between us. Due to the many pressures in our lives, we may sometimes act selfishly or insensitively, or respond angrily or unkindly. But deep down, that’s not really who we are or wish to be.

Loving our fellow means stripping away those external barriers that divide us to find the deepest bonds that connect us. Because, despite irritating antics or behaviors, that love is what is truly real.

Here’s to a week of reconciliations and spreading the love!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

Dear Readers,

An acquaintance of mine has a taxing job. She is up at the crack of dawn, six days a week. She regularly puts in more than 60-hour weeks and rarely takes vacations. She’s constantly on call, and when anything goes wrong, she’s the address. Though her work entails tremendous responsibility, for now, she gets paid only enough to cover her basic expenses.

My friend is an entrepreneur. She proudly tells me how much she loves what she does. She loves setting her own hours, investing in and building her future, and most importantly, being her own boss.

I know a group of people who used to enjoy talking in shul during the services. After constantly being reprimanded, they eventually decided to establish their own shul. Surprisingly, they now have a strict policy against extraneous talking that they collectively enforce. They take pride that the atmosphere in their shul is one of reflective, serene devotion to prayers.

A man I know is very wealthy. He has the means to hire whatever help he needs and delegates menial tasks to his assistants.

One day, this man decided to start his own volunteer organization to help people in need. He is so dedicated to his organization that he puts his life and soul into it. He personally makes deliveries or drop-offs, calls people on the phone, prepares refreshments for meetings and even sweeps up after events. Nothing is “beneath” him when it comes to his own organization.

Isn’t it amazing what we are willing to do when we feel that something is our own? When we assume ownership of a project or undertaking, we are willing to go far beyond the line of duty to make sure it is successful.

Because we don’t feel like we are doing it for someone else. It is ours. We set the tone. We set the example. We reap the benefits. And so we are willing to give it our all.

G‑d created our world with the goal of making a “dwelling place in the lower worlds,”(Tanya, Chapter 36), transforming our material world into a home where holiness would feel comfortable. G‑d contributes the bricks, so to speak, for this dwelling—the physical world. We provide the spirituality by imbuing our lives and world with meaning and purpose.

But G‑d doesn’t ask us to be His workers in changing our world. He asks us to take ownership and become His partner (Shabbos 119b) in making our world better.

We are the entrepreneurs of our world. We are the head of this amazing organization called planet earth. Let’s take ownership, in the fullest extent of the word, and do what’s needed to finally steer our enterprise to its utmost success.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

Dear Readers,

There’s a joke told about a considerate husband who wanted to celebrate his wife’s upcoming birthday in a special way, and so he asked her what she'd like.

“I’d love to be 6 again,” she replied.

On the morning of her birthday, he woke her at the crack of dawn and off they went to a local theme park. What a day! He put her on every scary rollercoaster!

Five hours later, staggering out of the theme park, her head was reeling and her stomach was upside-down. They went straight to a kid-friendly, fast-food eatery where her husband ordered her slices of pizza, extra fries smothered in ketchup and a creamy chocolate shake.

Finally, wobbling home, the wife collapses on the couch as her husband endearingly asks, “Well, dear, what was it like being 6 again?”

With only one eye half-open, she murmurs, “I meant my dress size!”

This week at TheJewishWoman.org, we are focusing on youth. That doesn’t mean that we’re trying to be 6 years old again, but we do try to find the elixir to youth. We also look at how to teach our youth to have a growth mindset. As well, we look at learning from children what they intuitively know that sometimes we adults tend to forget (or neglect). We also explore seven awesome prayers that women say, some of them revolving around our children.

In the spirit of exploring youthfulness, we have even provided you with something that’s really popular nowadays: adult coloring pages. Discover your own inner creativity as you steep in bright colors and contemplate the deep message behind this image. Please don’t forget to let us know if you enjoyed the activity.

So this week, let’s tap into our inner youth—figuratively, if not literally.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

Dear Readers,

Until several weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of fidget spinners. Then one day, my daughter came home from school and informed me of this latest fad. Like any good mother, I immediately tried to get a hold of one, but had a hard time because it was sold out in so many stores due to the massive demand.

Since then, I’ve been noticing fidget spinners everywhere. They’re online, in toy stores, even at the supermarket checkout lines. Forbes magazine describes them as “the must-have office toy for 2017.” YouTube has videos showing the cool tricks you can do with them; there are even customizable ones with company or organization logos (including Chabad Friendship Circle). The toys have become so prevalent that some schools are considering banning them because too many of their students become distracted by them. Others are vehemently defending their benefits in helping children with short attention spans focus and in releasing nervous energy. Apparently, this nondescript toy has taken the world by storm!

Catherine A. Hettinger invented an original spinner in the summer of 1993 to keep her daughter occupied while she was suffering from muscle weakness due to an autoimmune disease. She held a patent for eight years, but surrendered it in 2005 because she could not afford the $400 renewal fee. While the current spinner is different than her original design, she might have been a rich woman today if she had kept her patent. In any case, Hettinger says she is just pleased that her idea has evolved into something so popular.

So why does the fidget spinner make me optimistic about Moshiach?

Not long ago, the fidget spinner was completely unknown. But within a very short time, we’ve learned about it, have been exposed to its benefits and want to be a part of this addictive trend. If this is true with something neutral and non-influential like a spinning toy, how much more must this be true for a positive force of goodness that teaches kindness, morality and compassion. While the concept of Moshiach and the Future Redemption may at times seem like a distant and unrealistic dream, the fidget-spinning craze makes me optimistic about how quickly and dramatically our world could change for the better.

Unfortunately, Hettinger didn’t have the money or ability to see her dream materialize into a profitable reality. But Moshiach has been the Jewish people’s dream for centuries and it is a reality that can—and must—be realized.

Let’s hold on to our dream! More importantly, let’s make it the new craze that makes our world spin upside-down—in the most positive way!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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