ב"ה
Let's Go For Coffee

How Has Your Life Changed?

October 24, 2023 10:31 PM

Dear Readers,

I recently read a Facebook post that asked, “How has your life changed since the brutal massacre by Hamas on October 7, 2023?”

I found the responses interesting and meaningful. Here is a sampling:

  • It might be faster to say how life is still the same.
  • Every word of prayer is so much more meaningful now.
  • I think it has become “our lives.” Both in brutality and in unity. We have all seen so much horror but also experienced so much love.
  • I feel a massive energy to expand and receive G‑d’s light. It brought me back to what I am here for. I am more focused and my love for Israel has grown even deeper.
  • I would say: a Turning Point.
  • Grief, anger and trauma.
  • I feel like I have become a true Israeli mother. We all have.
  • Anxiety. Hard to sleep. Still processing.
  • Prayer helps the rage.
  • I am deeply proud and honored to be a part of the Jewish people.
  • Shocked, paralyzed and afraid.
  • Too much time by the screen.
  • I fill myself with Torah and music, exercise and work.
  • The world as we know it will never be the same.

It seems clear that the brutality we witnessed by Hamas has had an effect on all of us. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions right now. The pain is still deep. As of this writing, the hostages have not returned, about a hundred thousand families from Israel’s north and south have been displaced and are now refugees, and our brave soldiers are preparing at the front. So much is going on and it feels too deep and painful to process.

At the same time, a strong feeling of unity and pride in being part of the Jewish people has emerged. Jews all around the world are taking on extra mitzvot, gathering for extra prayers and Torah learning, and engaging more in spirituality. The incomprehensible ruthlessness has brought into sharp focus what is truly important in life, and the trivialities have become just that. Many of us are still trying to make sense of why we are here and what we can do to help our brethren.

Our only choice now is: What is my personal contribution to help fix this broken world?

How are you feeling right now? It’s your turn. Tell us how your life has changed.

With heartfelt prayers for the safety of the Jewish People and the immediate return of all the hostages,

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

On a United Mission

October 19, 2023 1:01 PM

Dear Readers,

A cousin posted this on our family chat:

I spoke with my niece in Jerusalem this morning, and she told me a story that demonstrates the unity of our nation.

This past Shabbat, exactly a week after the horrific attack by Hamas, as her husband and other men were leaving their apartments to go to synagogue, their neighbors, who are not normally Shabbat observant, were also running out. They said they were going to patrol and guard a post in their neighborhood.

My nephew and his friends said, “We’ll go with you.”

The neighbors replied, “No, your job right now is to go to synagogue and pray for us.”

The war in Israel has brought out such an overwhelming feeling of unity. Unity means realizing and appreciating the unique contribution of every individual. There are many ways that we can achieve our common goal. The important thing is to remember that we are a special nation with a special destiny, appointed with the mission of bringing light and G‑dliness to our world.


In this week’s Torah portion, we read about Abraham, the father of every Jew. G‑d commands Abraham, “Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house … to the land that I will show you.”

Abraham travels to what would become the Promised Land and builds an altar there. Rashi explains that Abraham built the altar to thank G‑d for His two promises: that he would have children and that he would be given the land of Israel.

In addition to promising Abraham that the Holy Land would belong to him and his children, G‑d’s command was to go forth from his finite self and discover his true, higher self, which is one with G‑d. Abraham was not fazed by the corruption around him, nor was he intimidated by the evil. He accepted the Divine mission, “to go,” to become G‑d’s messenger and teach the world Divine consciousness and morality.

From the moment that G‑d instructed Abram to leave his homeland and set out on his journey, the process of cosmic refinement began.

As Abraham’s descendants, we are each entrusted with this mission. When darkness and evil surround us, we need to double down on adding light.

As the war continues in Israel, we each need to do our part. For the soldiers, that means physically fighting our enemies, while for many of us, it means adding in prayers, mitzvot or donations to our brothers and sisters.

With heartfelt prayers for each and every one of our soldiers, and wishes for the safety and security of all our brethren in Israel and the world over,

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

Destroying the Flood of Evil

October 16, 2023 12:40 PM

Dear Readers,

As I write these words, our brave troops are gathered at the Gaza border preparing for an imminent ground incursion to protect and defend our nation. Thirteen hundred Jewish men, women, and children have been killed; more than 3,000 have been wounded; and 150 hostages have been kidnapped. Each of these horrific numbers represents a family full of loved ones, and an entire world.

Meanwhile, a barrage of rockets continues to rain down on the cities of Israel.

I’m sure just like you, I find myself incessantly checking my news feed, fearfully wondering what is happening right now in our homeland. In moments of greater clarity, though, I remind myself that keeping up with the latest news will do little to help. Instead, I try to push myself to take on an extra mitzvah, learn a little more Torah, give more charity, or say an extra chapter of Psalms. These can be my spiritual contribution to stand with and support my brothers and sisters in our Holy Land.

Indeed, it is heartening to see how in Jewish communities around the world, individuals are mobilizing to help. Massive undertakings are underway to provide material aid and spiritual mitzvot for the sake of our brothers. Witnessing these acts of unity truly makes me so proud right now to be a Jew. I wrote about some of these endeavors here. Please add your own contribution—what acts of light are you seeing in your community? Sharing will encourage and energize all of us to do more.

In this week’s Torah portion, Noah, we read about the huge flood that destroyed the world. Ironically, Hamas has named their attack against us, "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood."

The Hebrew word for flood, mabul, also means “disorder” and “confusion.” The Hebrew word for ark is tevah, which also means “word.” When the world is churning, threatening to drown the spark of humanity and vitality within us, we can protect ourselves by building a tevah, by increasing the word—the words of Torah and the words of prayer.

In times like these, the Rebbe would reiterate the infinite power of every mitzvah and the need for every person’s contribution. Let’s do our part to help our brave soldiers from the raging and horrific flood of evil around them by increasing our acts of light.

When the situation feels so dark, and the hatred is rampant, we need to remind ourselves that the light of the Jewish soul will forever shine brightly, until we finally usher in the time of complete peace for all mankind.

With heartfelt prayers and wishes for the safety and security of all our brethren in Israel and the world over,

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

Contributing to the War Effort

October 11, 2023 3:32 PM

Dear Readers,

My apologies that this email has been delayed. For the last number of years, almost like clockwork, thejewishwoman.org’s email has been sent out early to fill your week with inspiration. But after hearing about the horrific events happening to our brothers and sisters in our Holy Land, I, like Jews worldwide, was feeling too overwhelmed to put any coherent thoughts to paper.

My heart is bleeding, and my mind is reeling. The darkness feels overwhelming. The horrors are unspeakable.

How?! Why?!! How is it possible?! These are the questions that are screaming through my brain fog.

And yet, I also know that we are now in the midst of a war. And a war cannot be won with lethargy.

The war in Israel is not only a physical one being fought in our Holy Land by our brave soldiers on the ground, it is also a spiritual war. We are one people, one family of brothers and sisters. The days ahead are frightening. Each of us needs to contribute to the war effort with whatever ammunition we can muster. Every mitzvah we do, every chapter of Psalms we recite, every donation we give, every pair of tefillin we wrap, and every time we light Shabbat candles—these are our spiritual ammunition, to do our part to help fight this savage war.

As I read about the atrocities, as I become overwhelmed with fear, and as I futilely try to push away the images of the hostages from my mind, I know that I don’t have the luxury of being paralyzed by my emotions. For the safe return of each and every soldier, each and every hostage, and for the safety of each and every family in Israel—for their sake, I need to spring into action. I need to push myself to do just a drop more. They are counting on me.

And so, I sit here right now providing my small contribution. I share with you words of Torah on this week’s portion as well as stories of inspiration. All of the content below that is not related to the war in Israel has been prepared weeks in advance. I’m including as well, a resource for reciting chapters of Psalms, a call to action, and an interview that I was fortunate to conduct yesterday with a remarkable Shlucha in Israel, who lives right on the Lebanon border. Not only will she give you a real-life picture of what she is facing right now, I am sure she will also inspire you with her indomitable faith.

During the Yom Kippur War, the Rebbe said, “This attack was against the entire Jewish people, men, women and children. And it is because of our togetherness that we will prevail and be protected by G‑d.” Now is the time for all of us to unify into action.

With heartfelt prayers and wishes for the safety and security of all our brethren in Israel and the world over,

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 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.
Recent Posts
Blog Archive