On Shabbos Parshas Behaaloscho, Sivan 19 (June 12), we were again fortunate to have a farbrengen.

My son-in-law, Shmuel, has impressed upon me the importance of quoting at least some of the Rebbe’s words of Torah in my Diary. So, here goes. I will give over some of what the Rebbe said during the Shavuos farbrengen and on the following two Shabbosim:

On many occasions, the Rebbe stresses the importance of women’s roles in Judaism. The Torah really considers them much more important than the men. The husband is traditionally out working all day, making a living; the wife is left to look after her household and children, kashrus and chinuch (education).

At the giving of the Torah, the Almighty addressed the women first, and only afterwards the men: “ko somar l’beis yaakov.” This means: say to the women, and only then, “v’sageid livnei yisroel,” speak to the men.

The Rebbe appealed to the ladies, first, to insist that their husbands study for an additional amount of time each day. However, the study itself should be like yeshiva bochurim, meaning concentrated learning for this extra time. This time should also be approached like business hours; so if the telephone rings, do not take the call. If it is important, those calling will phone again. No loss of trade will ensue. (In any case, people always phone to suit their own convenience.) The men, however, need the selfless inspiration, prompting and encouragement of the women. The Rebbe relies implicitly and confidently on the n’shei (women) to provide this stimulus so that the men will learn more and better.

As mentioned, the Rebbe spoke many times about conversion and that, according to the Jewish teachings and way, it must be done in a certain manner: namely, according to the halacha. This way is delineated in the Torah itself. The Rebbe said:

Many Jews have the custom to read the book and story of Ruth on Shavuos. There are many reasons for this book being read especially on Shavuos. Her grandson was King David and he was born and also passed away on Shavuos. Another reason given is that Shavuos is the period of harvesting and the story of Ruth took place at harvest time. A third explanation is that becoming the Jewish nation, to receive the Torah on Shavuos, can be compared to a gerus (conversion).

The Rebbe explained that the story of Ruth, being part of the Torah which is eternal, is a lesson even for today about the ideals and methods of gerus.

At the time of Ruth, just as today, there were two gentile girls who had married Jewish boys outside of Israel. After a period of ten years their husbands died and the girls proposed to their Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, that they should all go and live in Eretz Yisroel.

What could be more straightforward? In their opinion, they were Jewesses. However, Naomi replied that the matter was not as simple as that. In order to be Jewish, they had to be converted according to the Jewish law.

One of Naomi’s daughters-in-law, Orpah, refused to undergo the conversion, and so she returned to her roots in Moab. The other daughter-in-law, Ruth, accepted Naomi’s condition to convert properly.

Being that Ruth had no prior knowledge of Judaism, she could not start by saying, “Your G‑d is my G‑d and your people are my people.” Instead, she first said, “Where you will go, I will go, and where you will sleep, there I will sleep.” Ruth was prepared to live and work as a Jewess, learn and keep the 613 mitzvahs. Only then, after all that, was she able to say, “Your people are my people and your G‑d is my G‑d.” The result was that Ruth had a grandson who became our great King David, whereas Orpah married a Moabite and her grandson was Goliath, the wicked enemy of the Jewish people.

If people enter Israel like Orpah, even if they have an utterly meaningless certificate stating they are Jewish, they are not! And their children and children’s children, who will ultimately resent the lie perpetrated by the so-called Rabbi, will eventually become angered enough and will become enemies of the Jewish people.

The main essential point is that all converts to Judaism convert only according to halacha. Then we will be assured of peace and plenty in the land of Israel.