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Become a Leader with Purpose

October 27, 2022 11:09 AM

Dear Reader,

I am very excited to invite you to join a new initiative from theJewishwoman.org called: Become a Hakhel leader.

This year, we have a unique opportunity that comes around only once in seven years! This year is called a “Hakhel” year, and it provides each of us with an opportunity to become leaders with a purpose.

In the time of the Temple, at the end of the seven-year Sabbatical cycle, the entire Jewish nation, men, women, and children, would gather together to be inspired and reinvigorated. As the king read sections from the Torah, every single individual played a key role in being there.

This event was known as Hakhel, which means "assemble!" and was reminiscent of the moment when our nation stood at Mount Sinai when G‑d lovingly gave us the Torah and every member of our nation was present.

Although Hakhel is no longer practiced as it was during the Temple, the Rebbe repeatedly encouraged us to utilize a Hakhel year as an opportunity to get together to study Torah, and inspire each other.

And so, this is the year for all of us to become a leader with a purpose!

Our world needs leaders. Leadership means taking the knowledge you have access to and sharing it with others.

Here is more information about this special opportunity.

Become a Leader by organizing a gathering to study together, in your living room, in a friend’s office, or at your Shabbat table. Groups can be small, with just you and a friend or family member, or amongst a larger network of acquaintances. Whether you are able to organize a group just a few times a year, or every week of the year; whether you will get together in person or meet over the phone (or zoom), everyone can take part. No matter who you are, no matter how old you are, and no matter how much you know, your contribution is important!

What you do NOT need to Become a Hakhel Leader

  • any prior level of observance or knowledge
  • any financial commitment
  • a lot of extra time

What you DO need to Become a Leader

  • a desire to grow
  • a desire to share
  • an open and welcoming attitude
  • the courage to make a difference
  • a small investment of time and energy

Click here to download this week’s PDF study group packet

TheJewishWoman.org will be emailing you weekly the material you need for your study groups. Look out for our weekly email and join this exciting and inspiring grassroots movement.

Suggested Guidelines for Study Groups:

We suggest that your gatherings have these components:

  1. Gratitude—a short prayer acknowledging the blessings in our lives. (Suggestion: read Psalm 20)
  2. Giving—Place a few coins in a box designated for charity.
  3. Study—Read together the material provided by thejewishwoman.org. Discuss the questions and encourage everyone to share their thoughts and opinions. (Whenever possible take on one small, positive resolution to make our world brighter.)
  4. Plan—Set a date and place for the next gathering and encourage your friends to bring their friends.
  5. Please share with us how your gatherings are working out and any feedback on our material so we can network and grow stronger.

Looking forward to a year of Hakhel gatherings while studying and growing together!

Chana Weisberg,

Editor, TJW

PS. Please share with me your thoughts on this initiative. Will you be joining this exciting grassroots movement to Become a Leader? How often can you commit to organizing a gathering? Who will you be inviting? How will you encourage people to join?

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 six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.

The Secret to a Successful Relationship

October 13, 2022 9:06 AM

Dear Readers,

“My husband takes me for granted! When we first married years ago, I was his whole world. He made me feel so loved, so needed. I was the center of his life, treasured and important.

“But nowadays, I feel more like a piece of old furniture, functional and comfortable, but with no intimate connection. We’re like two strangers living under the same roof. The spark is gone.”

Adam stood in the middle of the garden, enveloped in exquisite beauty. The world was there for his delight—succulent fruits, majestic trees, green pastures, sparkling waters, striking animals. He was the master of them all.

Yet as Adam stood gazing at this grandeur, he was overcome with a powerful feeling of existential loneliness. He had everything, yet he was missing something integral to his happiness and completion. He might be the master of his world, but deep within, he was deficient.

“And G‑d said, ‘It is not good that man is alone. I shall make for him a compatible helper.’ ”1

With the creation of all other species, both male and female sprang up at the same time. With the creation of mankind, however, Adam was created as a lone being.

Man needed to feel a sense of intense loneliness, a deep and unfulfilling lack, to impress upon him how central his partner is to his life.

“The Holy One willed that man should be without woman for a brief period and then afterwards introduced her to him, so that she would be dearer to him after he had felt life so lacking without her.”2



“What so attracted me to my wife when we first met was not only her amazing qualities and charismatic personality, but how she made me feel about myself. Intuitively, she knew how to build me up and make me feel so capable, so successful.

“When she was with me, the whole world sparkled, and I felt like we could conquer anything. Together, there would be no barriers, nothing holding us back.

“But nowadays, she doesn’t stop criticizing me! There’s nonstop complaining. Whatever I do is always wrong, and no matter how hard I try, it is never good enough.”

Chava (Eve) awoke from a deep slumber to gaze into his searching eyes. Immediately and intuitively, she sensed that they were deeply attached to one another. In fact, somehow she knew that they were actually parts of one another.

She would be an integral part of his life; its very foundation.

“But for Adam there was not found a helper who was compatible … and the rib that G‑d had taken from man, He built into a woman and brought her to the man. And Adam said, this is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. … Therefore a man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife.”3

Woman is called an ezer kinegdo, a compatible helper. As part of man’s own flesh, she is closest to him, an actual part of his being.

What was man so lacking before her creation, that he was (in G‑d’s words) “not good”? And, what could she provide that was so integral to his completion?

Man was missing a companion, someone who could understand his nature and his psyche. She was built from him, but it was she who needed to build him up. Without her, he was not whole.

Woman, as an actual part of Adam, is the one best equipped to inspire in him a confidence in achieving his mission. Only together could they fulfill their dreams and hopes, their joint mission and purpose.



The formula for a successful relationship between man and woman is hidden between the lines on the very first pages of Genesis.

Ask women about their husbands and you are sure to hear: “He fails to appreciate me,” “He takes me for granted,” “He doesn’t spend enough time with me,” “He fails to nurture our relationship.”

Ask men about their wives and by and large, their responses will be: “She nags me,” “She puts me down,” “She’s always criticizing,” “She’s never happy with who I am.”

In the very first moments of creation, G‑d reminds man and woman of the essential tools each carries.

To man, G‑d says—look at your first moments before she entered your world. You had the entire creation at your fingertips, success, prosperity, and power, but your very life was “not good!” Show her that you appreciate her. Remind her how much she means to you. Make her the center of your world. She needs to feel like the treasure that she is.

To woman, G‑d says—you are his greatest helper, without whom he simply cannot succeed. Your smile, your approval, your words of praise and encouragement are the very oxygen pumping life-giving energy into his veins. You hold the building blocks, essential to his life. He needs you to build him up.

Want tools to navigate a successful and fulfilling relationship? Embedded within the first moments of creation, you will find them.

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW

Footnotes

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 six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.
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 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 six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.
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