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Woman’s Wisdom
Video | 7:58
Woman’s Wisdom
25 Iyar, 5744 · May 27, 1984
To carry out the holy and life-critical mission of the Jew requires wisdom and understanding – which G-d granted the Jewish People by giving them His Own wisdom, the Torah, as a guide. Through Torah, Jews are the “Wise and understanding nation.” But Torah draws a distinction within Jews themselves: “Greater understanding was granted to woman than to man,” enabling them to perceive better and deeper, and to apply this perception in daily life.
The Woman’s Three Special Mitzvot
17 Sivan, 5740 • June 1, 1980
There are three fundamental mitzvot entrusted to every Jewish woman. Separating challah “from the first of your dough” shows that before benefiting from anything in this world, we “set aside an offering for G‑d.” By knowing that the beginning of everything is for G‑d, the entire home becomes a dwelling place for Him.
The Jewish Woman – Part 1
Torah and Mitzvos are the foundations of every Jewish household. The three most fundamental Mitzvos of Jewish family life – Family Purity, Kosher food preparation, and Shabbos and Festival candles, were given especially to the Jewish woman, as it is she who is the solid pillar of the home.
The Jewish Woman – Part 2
Jewish women are entrusted by G-d to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. Despite the pains and hardships involved in pregnancy, labor, birth and child rearing, they have always fulfilled this essential role with joy and a deep sense of mission.
The Jewish Woman – Part 3
Torah establishes that a child’s People is traced through the mother – who carries and nourishes the growing baby, and who devotedly struggles through the pains of pregnancy, labor and childbirth. There are those who wish to steal the child from its mother, by “voting” that a child can belong to the father’s People instead. All women should object to such a possibility.
Esther, Model for Jewish Women
March 18, 1973 • Purim, 5733
Mordechai and Esther are the heroes of Purim, yet the Megillah is named only after Esther. And the initiative that the Megillah be included among the books of the Bible came specifically from Esther. Why is Esther given the spotlight, when her success depended on Mordechai’s plan?
Behind Every Great Jewish Man Is a Great Jewish Mother
Sarah, the first Jewish mother, is a shining example of the great power that every woman has over her family and our entire nation. It was Sarah who insisted that Isaac, not Ishmael, continue Abraham’s progeny. It was she who raised Isaac in his formative years, instilling within him the fortitude to stand up to all tests, and to become the second Patriarch of the Jewish People.
Protector of Her People
10 Shevat 5732 · January 26, 1972
At the time of the Song of Moses, the Jews were in the midst of a great journey through an awesome desert. They had yet to reach, conquer and establish a Jewish homeland. By contrast, at the time of the Song of Deborah, the Jews were already settled in the Land of Israel. Deborah was called upon to organize a campaign against Canaanite invaders.
Ladies First
Video | 8:13
Ladies First
When G-d told Moses how to prepare the Jewish people to receive the Torah on Shavuos, He instructed him to speak to the women first, for it was the women’s commitment that would inspire the rest of the Jewish people at the time of the giving of the Torah—and down through the ages.
Heartbeat of the Family
25 Iyar, 5750 · May 20, 1990
The success of our people’s mission rests on the Jewish woman. She engages her husband and children in what they learn and accomplish each day, thereby preparing them for a future of Torah.
Dressed for Redemption
28 Iyar, 5728 · May 26, 1968
Before the Jewish People entered the Land of Israel, the Torah says that G-d “signed the letters of His holy Name upon them.” Our Sages explain that His main purpose was to vouch for the women: Although they had been in Egypt for 210 years, the Jewish women did not emulate the qualities, behaviors and styles of the Egyptian women, and when it came to their personal conduct, “they did not change their manner of dress.”
“She Speaks with Wisdom”
The Sages say: “Who is a worthy wife? One who does the will of her husband.” Chassidism explains that the Hebrew word, ‘Oseh – does’ also means ‘creates.’ Therefore, “Who is a worthy wife? One who creates the will of her husband.”
First Defenders
Video | 7:42
First Defenders
Jewish girls are equal members in Tzivos Hashem. Even though in Torah the “army” is not a place for women, when it comes to a battle of life and death – and the battle against the evil inclination is a battle of survival – the law is different. In that case, even a bride must go from her wedding to take part.
Spiritual Motherhood
The Talmud teaches: “Let that man be remembered for good, and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Gamla is his name. Until he came, only children with fathers had the opportunity to study Torah, whereas orphans did not. But Rabbi Yehoshua established Torah schools in every province and city for all children, even as young as six and seven.”
The Women First
Video | 6:49
The Women First
The Jewish woman plays a crucial part in G-d’s plan for mankind. When Torah was first given, G-d instructed Moses to speak to the women first and explain to them its greatness, thereby strengthening the rest of people’s acceptance of it as well.
Celebrate the Differences
The brain and heart are equally central to the body’s health and homeostasis. Nevertheless, each has its own function. Similarly, man and woman are equal in importance and in their contribution to Jewish life and continuity. But they have different roles.
Women's Rights
Video | 7:55
Women’s Rights
There is a prevalent misconception that in order to demonstrate their equality, women need to imitate men. But the need to imitate someone else implies an inferior self-perception.
Women Lead the Way
The Midrash teaches that the sin of the Golden Calf was enabled by the men, as opposed to the women who refused to partake in it. Moreover, when it came to contributing materials to build the tabernacle in the desert, it was the women who were first to step up to the task, followed by the men.
The Woman’s Light
The Midrash relates the miracles that G-d would perform for Sarah and Rebecca. A beautiful story highlighting the greatness of our matriarchs, it holds a poignant lesson for us today and the special role of a woman to bring G-d’s light into the home.
Women of Honor
Video | 6:50
Women of Honor
The tasks of the Jewish people are divided between Torah study and engaging in the physical world. The rule, however, is that commandments don’t override Torah study. Nevertheless, a mitzvah that cannot be done by others does override Torah study; it actually takes priority.
Who Is G-d's Partner in Creation?
In a Jewish household, the wife and mother is called the mainstay of the home. But when it comes to the month of Elul, every Jew should strive to fulfill this role.
The Right Lifestyle Choice
The Torah portion of Beshalach contains both the song of Moses, as well as the song of Miriam. The chosen Haftarah, however, which discusses the Song of Deborah, is chosen specifically in connection to the Song of Miriam.
Chassidic Feminism
5 Tishrei, 5748 • September 28, 1987
Among Chassidim there are “equal rights” for women, and in some things they are expected to do even more than the men!
The Jewish Woman
Video | 8:37
The Jewish Woman
In light of the Rebbe’s teachings
The Jewish woman has a unique mission specific to her special qualities and sensitivities. The very future of the Jewish people depends on her success.
Sweet Medicine
Video | 4:20
Sweet Medicine
Mrs. Rochel Fogelman led a group of women from Worcester, Massachusetts, on a visit to New York and to an audience with the Rebbe that went down in history. (year 1953)
Jewish Feminism
Video | 4:50
Jewish Feminism
1977
Dr. Susan Handelman is Professor of English Literature at Bar Ilan University in Israel. While working on her PhD in 1977, she came to study in Crown Heights, with some suspicions as to what she would find to be the woman’s place in Chassidic life.
The Jewish Woman’s Courage – 1960s
Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Shlomei was dean of the Bais Rivka Girl’s Seminary in France for over twenty years. He shares a special letter sent by the Rebbe to the seminary students.
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