Dear Readers,

As I write this column, my thoughts are on our upcoming trip to visit my children and grandchildren in Chicago for my youngest grandson’s upsherin, the traditional first haircut of a little boy when he turns 3.

They say that grandchildren give us a second chance to do things better because they bring out the best in us. Being a grandparent is all about the enjoyment and nachas, with the obligations and disciplining rigors relegated to their parents. As a friend of mine says, “If I had known grandchildren were this much fun I would have had them first!”

But it’s also about the responsibility of leading a new generation on the right course. Lois Wyse, a prolific author, advertising executive and Jewish grandmother, is quoted as saying, “Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.”

We pass the torch of faith and values on to the next generation. We teach and mentor our children and grandchildren, and they, in turn, impart the same knowledge to their offspring, continuing the chain of our history and the bond of our nation.

Thank G‑d, I am blessed to have four grandchildren from two families. All of them are adorable, lovable, smart and cute. Two of my grandchildren are granddaughters. Both of them are proud to be named Chaya, after the Rebbetzin (one Chaya Mushka and the other Chaya because of an elder close relative named Mushka).

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that with every experience, a Jew must contemplate what can be learned from it. How much more so when a loved one passes away, when the verse itself instructs, “The living shall take to heart.” How much must we learn from a woman as great as the Rebbetzin!

This week, on the 22nd of Shevat, we commemorate the 30th yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. To mark this date, this weekend, thousands of shluchot will gather in New York at the annual International Conference of Chabad women emissaries. These women will pay tribute to the values and teachings of this righteous woman as together they recharge, reconnect, pray and learn. They take these shared experiences back home to their own communities, where they continue to teach and inspire others.

Many countries are represented in the conference, with women flying in from destinations in the Far East, South Africa, Europe and across the former Soviet Union—with many mothers, daughters and even granddaughters in attendance together.

And this year at the conference, I, too, will sit with these thousands of strong and stimulating women, learning and being inspired. At my side will be my newly married daughter, who together with her husband are proud new shluchim dedicated to bringing the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s message and teachings to their own community in the Bahamas, bringing the number of countries where there now are Chabad emissaries to more than 100.

From one generation to the next, the torch of faith become illuminated and passes on.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW