Torah – A Treasure Trove for the Feminine

By Mirah Langer, as printed in the Jewish Report, April 2nd 

“The changing of the world starts at home – and it starts between the spouses,” asserts Rebbetzin Tamar Taback, a pioneer in women’s Torah study. It’s a reflection which takes on a new poignancy as the world returns to the home as a haven during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taback’s focus is the interrogation of Jewish femininity. “As we approach the times of Moshiach [the Messiah] there is a predicted and undeniable rising of feminine energy.”
Yet, conventionally, the way Jewish femininity and its association with the domestic realm has been interpreted can make it seem a “lesser” entity.
“It’s ironic, because Judaism has always respected its women, but suddenly, after feminism, Judaism was put on the back foot because of the feminist movement and its claims of ,‘Why are the women in the kitchen, and why can’t they read from the Torah, and why is there a mechitza [room divider for men and women at religious functions]? Why don’t they put on tefillin  phylacteries]?’ “As a Jewish woman, that’s going to affect your relationship with G-d because maybe you’re going to think you aren’t loved in the same way.”
However, notes Taback, who is also a musician, artist, and the mother-of-seven, “just because
the world doesn’t appreciate something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t intrinsically beautiful”.
“The world doesn’t validate motherhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the holiest thing
you could do. Just because something is put in the foreground or given high salaries,
it doesn’t mean that’s where fulfilment is.”
For Jewish women, there is no onesize-fits-all policy of how to develop their sense of spirituality. However, what there is, said Taback, is the Torah’s great depth of commentary on femininity.
It’s this source which Taback has made it her life’s mission to unpack as the founder of Nexus, an onlineplatform for Torah learning for women around the world.
Taback, who is Johannesburg-born and based, grew up in St Louis in the United States. Born into a family that didn’t start out as religious, her parents gradually took on Orthodoxy as she
entered into her teenage years.
As her parents embarked on their religious journey, Taback said she, too, sought her own particular path within this sphere, specifically in understanding her role as a Jewish
woman. She found resonance within the mystical realm of Torah teaching.
“I had this thirst. It was really uncommon for a woman to be so interested in the mystical tradition.”
She remembers as revelatory Rabbi Akiva Tatz’s book, Living Inspired, and a lecture at the Neve seminary in Israel about the sun and the moon.
“I started to understand that the feminine and masculine are two sides of the same coin of the universe – intrinsically, there’s no preference between one or the other.”
“The world is struggling, people are struggling. So many women cut off one part of themselves or the other. The first step is to come back to basics, claim Jewish femininity, and find its spirituality.
“It’s not an easy thing to do in today’s world, especially if you’re a highly creative, highly ambitious, highly intelligent woman. How then do you balance your maternal instinct with your desire for a career?
“That balance is elusive, and you’re constantly course-correcting. It becomes about giving yourself
permission to engage with your spiritual needs and identity.”
Taback, who has been teaching Torah to women for almost two decades, said there was a real hunger for this from women across all ages and levels of religious affiliation.
“What they have in common is that they are aspiring and evolving.
Each woman is living out the story of femininity in her way. There are these
motifs from the Torah that are threading through all our lives.”
Now is the time, posits Taback, that women need to support each other.
“We are ashamed of struggling. Even though so many of us are having so
many of the same struggles, we don’t share them.”
She hopes her digital platform, which allows Jewish women to collaborate across the world, will facilitate this.
Taback suggests that when women develop their sense of spiritual femininity, it will also enrich their connections with men.
“Divorce rates are high, and happy marriages are rare. In this reality, there is a lot to a woman having a strong spiritual self-definition. If she wakes up her spiritual being, she has respect for
herself; she has compassion for others. She will act differently from a woman
who feels disempowered; she will show up differently in her marriage.”
Furthermore, as important as it is for women to embrace spiritual femininity, it’s equally important
for Jewish men to explore their masculinity.
“Just like there’s traditional femininity, there’s traditional masculinity – the idea of the macho, the giver, the strong provider.”
While this is a role that feels fundamental for many men, there also needs to be space for them
to express vulnerability.
“Men also want to be able to be emotional, empathic, and nurturing.”
Taback said the mistake often made is to try and promote equality between the sexes as
sameness. “However, a wise woman knows how to heighten difference in order to enhance her
partner.”
Nevertheless, both masculinity and femininity are about spiritually complementing each other. They’re both coming a little closer to the centre, to find a new kind of harmony.”
Taback’s newest online learning series uses a study of the women of the
Torah as the springboard for spiritual self-exploration.
“Take our matriarchs for example: when you light Shabbos candles and you say, ‘Sarah, Rivka, Rachel’… it seems abstract. After all, who were these women? What were their marriages like? How did they mother? What was their relationship to G-d?

“Well, when you start to learn the texts, you discover that they were outrageous women! They weren’t traditional, they were totally ‘calling the shots’. It’s paradigm-busting.
“You realise that these biblical women are talking to us right now.”

Adaptation from Ohel Rachel, Nidda, chapter 3

While the world has entered a state of social distancing and isolation akin to a nidda status…. I couldn’t help but remember this chapter I translated from Sefer Ohel Rachel years ago, the Hebrew compendium of Torah sources on Jewish womanhood compiled by R’ Shlanger, student of R’ Moshe Shapiro זצ”ל.
I got up to chapter 19 in the project since when I laid it to rest until the time comes when I see it has way forward.  This was chapter 14, the third chapter in the section on Nidda.  The sefer is arranged according to the three mitzvot of women.
 This chapter begins with a general discussion on the essence of the Nidda state and ends with the deeper connotations “when the whole world takes on the state of a Nidda’ (for fuller context, you may need to read the preceding chapters!)  Personally, I think that though never easy, nidda is always good news, since the nidda period is always followed by a process of purification and ultimately intimacy between the couple.  Since our soul-mate is Hashem we are in a time ripe with the potential of mass return to Him (i.e. Teshuva) when He will take us into His embrace, may it be soon! 

[my translation for this chapter starts here.  My comments appear in italics and footnotes]

A good place to start unpacking the deeper spiritual properties of both the nidda and tumah state is by looking at the word itself.

The Ramban speculates that the Nidda concept is related to the Hebrew word מדוה which means “ache” and is associated with the fact that her limbs are heavy upon her at that time. The Ibn Ezra offers a similar suggestion and says that nidda is synonymous with some sort of חולי, illness.[1] What is clear that during menstruation, the very part of her that is pivotal in achieving intimacy is involved in a process of renewal, much like the waxing and waning cycles of the moon. Through experiencing the diminishment of the moons light at its monthly interval when it wanes is the only way to reach its full luminosity in the following cycle.[2] 

Whereby the moon’s waxing and waning happens automatically, the woman’s transition from nidda to tahara takes a conscious choice.  This is the heart of the Tahara – purification process that she actively engages herself in.

A Torah principle is that whatever is happening on a physical realm is an indicator of what is happening on the higher and more subtler levels within a person.  Therefore, the monthly appearance of her menstrual cycle is not just a physical phenomenon but indicates a cleansing and renewal of her entire being; mentally, spiritually and emotionally.  Because the process of shedding and renewal requires her focus and attention to ride with it, she is not totally “available” to actualize the marriage’s full potential.  Engaging in physical connection at a time where her circuits are already occupied so to speak would turn the act into – surprisingly – an immoral one.  The is because the definition of holy union is one where all the faculties and dimensions of both spouses are available and focused on each-other.  Intimacy without the necessary concentration and dedication towards the other relegates the act to the realm of the physical.  This is completely antithetical to holy marital intimacy, in which the physical dimension of the couple’s connection is just the expression of their unity on all the higher levels of their beings. This is actually a definition of all עריות, acts of immorality; where the physical act is stripped from all other layers of appropriate connection within the context of kedusha, holiness.[3]

Just like the Torah prohibits relationships that don’t carry the sanctity and eternal commitment of marriage, the Torah prohibits intimate encounter with one’s wife under nine circumstances which are called the 9 moods, ט’ מידות. All of the “moods” interfere with the internal essence of their relationship to be fully expressed and therefore intimacy under their influence is strictly forbidden and is comparable to עריות, immorality.  They are; drunkenness, mourning, nidda, coercion, thinking about someone other that who one is with, thinking about another wife [when polygamy was permitted], a kohain with a divorcee, and _______.

Nidda is therefore the strong counter-indication to marital intimacy, as is any one of the other nine circumstances [moods].  Chazal teach that children born from a union that took place during nidda or during any one of these moods carry a spiritual blemish.

~

From the negative we learn the positive; oneness in marriage can only be achieved when both parties are in a state of personal joy and wholeness. This is a profound turn-around from modern thinking that happiness is from some other person, object or experience.  True wholeness comes from inside and it is when a woman is not trying to find her innate wholeness from someone outside of her [i.e. her husband] and takes responsibility for finding it within, she becomes ready to enter into the next phase of intimacy and connection. 

The paradox here is stunning…. On the one hand, intimacy is punctuated by humility, vulnerability and a desire for connection.  On the other hand, every month through the healing process of her menstrual cycle, a woman finds her core within herself again.  Once she has reclaimed her intrinsic wholeness of the woman she is, she is then ready to bond with a man and together the two become something greater than the sum of their parts. 

This is a graceful dance that hinges around subtle paradoxes of selfhood vs. relationship.  Perhaps a woman might absorb the teachings about being a “receiver” so deeply that she feels lost when she in no longer in an active state of receiving.  It is then that she recalibrates and finds her own center and source of wholeness that is not dependent on anyone else, other than Hashem Himself.  She becomes a receiver from Hashem within a deep place within her being and this allows her to heal and renew her feminine capabilities vis a vis her husband.  Being a receiver is not about weakness as much as it is about dedication, commitment, and strength to be a strong vessel. Only women can go and transform through their monthly cycles the way they do, in privacy, in faith, and with patience that the moon with shine its light again soon.  In fact, it is all those qualities that she finds within herself during that phase that herald the redemption of the new moon in its time. Even what is objectively a “curse” has its gifts.

~

Tahara, purification, makes a clean break from the nidda phase.  The “gift” of nidda, a chance to regenerate, can easily spill over into something much more sinister, namely the sentiment that the woman doesn’t need the connection that the mikve affords.  It is too easy in our modern times to adopt the attitude of autonomy and approach life in this ego-centric way.  A woman knows this is happening to her when the vicissitudes and challenges of life become a wedge between her and her husband, and she deepens further into her own world, carrying life’s burdens on her shoulders alone. This creates within her a feeling of stress and it’s first cousin, exhaustion.  Her disappointment and disillusionment with her husband grow as her reliance on outside sources of validation and appreciation also grow.  Slowly she shifts her focus from being internally defined to externally orientated and to that extent she grows more and more distant from her husband.  This distance becomes the reality for her and it then ironically confirms her doubts and fears, creating a vicious cycle. She doesn’t realize it but her beliefs about her husband have created her reality and her experience of pain and isolation.    

This woman may not realize it but she has allowed the essence of nidda to enter her psyche and begin to define her.  It is no wonder that her shalom bayis starts to show signs of strain.  Life’s challenges, be it with children, health or parnassa, livelihood, become too much to bear, as the couple is dealing with everything that is coming their way from within their isolated inner worlds.

The good news is that through the proper use of bechira, free will, she can purify her mind and soul, not only her body in a mikve.  A small choice to become tahor stirs a monumental shift in her perspective, and she realizes that she can rely on her husband as the G-d given one to help her deal with what life sends their way.  What is important is that they have each-other. According to halacha, Jewish law, as demonstrated by the laws of the Tahara process – the ability to craft such an uplifted and unified relationship is in the wife’s hands. Such is her feminine power.

~

Let us return to another connotation of the word nidda and its origins. The Targum Unkelus renders the word nidda as ריחוק – distance as in the verse in Vayikra (15,1), תהיה בנדתה – she will be בריחוקה, “distant”.[4]  Similarly, the verse in Yechezkel (Ezekiel 7, 19); וזהבם לנדה יהיה – translated as, “and their wealth will be distant from them”. This is the impurity of nidda, being trapped within the parameters of our own world, unable to allow the fuller context of relationship to penetrate and transform our experience of life.  The essence of Nidda is the mistaken notion that we must go it alone, that G-d is far from us, that if we don’t do it, who will?

In the prophets, (also Ezekiel 36,17) the Jewish people are reprimanded for their smallness of mind (disconnection always starts with the wrong belief about our own smallness within the context of Hashem’s greatness) and subsequent misdemeanors. The Prophet describes their state; ,”כטומאת הנדה היתה דרכם לפני” – “like the impurity of Nidda are your ways before Me”. Similarly, in Ezra (9,11) the verse describes the very land taking on the properties of nidda; “”ארץ נדה היא – “a land that has become defiled (through its abominations).”

~

How can a land itself take on characteristics of purity or impurity?  How can the deeds of a nation spread to the very soil on which they live?

Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher) himself explains this to us when he contrasts the Land of Israel with the Land of Egypt (Devarim, 11,10). “Israel is not like the land of Egypt, in which you make use of irrigation to water your crops. The land to where you are headed to inherit is a land of hills and valleys and only through the precipitation of the heavens will you drink water. It is a land that Hashem seeks with special interest and intensity… a land where His eyes are always fixed.”

As I’m sure you are making the connection, Egypt shares the qualities of a nidda consciousnessIt needs no-one and pulls itself up by its bootstraps with its intricate systems of irrigation.  Israel, on the other, known for its mountainous terrain – a place of living life in the raw – in relationship with G-d, with the metaphoric peaks and valleys that that comes with.  (Spiritual life is never flat – it is always striving and reaching, falling and recovering, eventually creating an upward trend of cyclical growth.)  But most importantly, in all its realness, it is connected – receiving its rain from Hashem Himself, Whose watchful eyes never leave it for a moment.  Every tomato is a gift directly from G-d – with no intermediating networks and stop-gaps.  It is this awareness of the Divine within the mundane that sets Israel apart as a land of purity and holiness, the place where Hashem interacts most intimately with His whole creation.  It is a land that not only believes in miracles but relies on them for its very existence.

This is our marriage with Hashem.  Of course, a land can take on the defiled status of its people, when we fail to have the courage to enter into this direct relationship of receiving our needs from Hashem Himself. This is what the prophet meant when he said, “ארץ נדה היא” – this land is impure.  And this is the very reason why it is only in the borders of the land of Israel that we are obligated in the agricultural laws of Terumos and maasros, the tithes that must be taken before any of the produce is consumed.  We are able to perform these laws and all the laws of the Torah when we recognize fully that it is He is who is the source of the bounty, and the whole land becomes the private Home where He lives together with His people.  Pulling the wool over our eyes and pretending that it is a land like any other and we can go it alone puts the land into its nidda state.

So too, being a vessel for the conduit of blessing and being humble enough to acknowledge that conduit transforms the married woman into seeing her life as complete only with her husband.  This shift of the mind creates her purity and is the epitome of her humility.

~

[1] To this day doctors cannot explain why the same degree of elegance and synchronicity of all the other body’s functions do not appear with the dilemma of what the body does to deal with unneeded blood of the lining of the uterus when conception does not occur.  Hashem could easily have created the uterus to absorb its lining back into the body.   

[2] The moon – woman runs very deep.  The moon is a symbol of malchus, royalty (as is clearly perceivable by the liturgy of kiddush levana, the blessing we make when the moon makes its first appearance in the new month, which is all about the malchus of David Hamelech.

[3] It is striking to note that the Hebrew word for holiness and promiscuity are almost one and the same.  Holiness is vowelized as קדושה, “kedusha”, and a prostitute is pronounced “קדשה”, kedaisha. The root is the same. The essence of the root ק.ד.ש. is sanctity, i.e. designation for a particular relationship.  In the case of holiness, the husband and wife are designated to each-other, and no one else.  In the case of the immoral woman, she is designated to immorality.

[4] The Hebrew root of the word nidda is נד – which means to wander; a strong term for the experience of exile (as kayin was cursed with exile, נע ונד).

 

 

Thoughts on Coronavirus: A Consciousness Stream

“We need to stop speaking in the language of the Media [1] and start speaking in the language of Emuna”

It is hard to believe how quickly the world has been called to the mercies of a tyrannical king – and not a human one, at that.  Prophecies describing the end of days and the threat of an evil world power – who would have thought his persona would and could be invisible to the naked eye?    

R’ Ari Shishler, Johannesburg

[1]  The Persians were called “Medes” as in פרס ומדי. 

~

The Medrash in Song of songs, 2:12 speaks of a plague that will come to the world just before the arrival of Mashiach. 

הַתְּאֵנָה חָנְטָה פַגֶּיהָ, אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּא בַּר אַבָּא סָמוּךְ לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ דֶּבֶר גָּדוֹל בָּא לָעוֹלָם וְהָרְשָׁעִים כָּלִים. וְהַגְּפָנִים סְמָדַר נָתְנוּ רֵיחַ, אֵלּוּ הַנִּשְׁאָרִים, וַעֲלֵיהֶם נֶאֱמַר וְהָיָה הַנִּשְׁאָר בְּצִיּוֹן וְהַנּוֹתָר בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם (ישעיה ד, ג):

“The fig tree has formed its young fruit…”R’ Chiya Bar Abba said, shortly before the days of the Mashiach, a great plague will come to the world, and the wicked will perish in that plague…

“And the vines in blossom give forth fragrance” – these refer to the righteous survivors, and regarding them the verse states, “And the survivor will be in Tzion and the remaining one in Jeruslalem…”

(From the Artscroll note:  suffering and pain are symptoms of the world’s decline that must necessarily precede the messianic era.  A new order of existence cannot be established before the previous one has deteriorated….”)

Could this be now?

~

Speaking of the Medrash in Shir Hashirim, the day that I suddenly stood in attention to the news and spreading fear of the caronavirus (was it last thursday?) the following page opened in my short nightly routine: (see photo above)

I couldn’t believe it.  In front of me, the never before contemplated word, carona, stood out in the text on the page.

The context in the Medrash was that for the 600,000 Jews over the age of 20 (as well as the 600,000 Jews under the age of 20), Moshe declared just before the exodus from Egypt that no-one without a Bris Millah would be able to partake of the Korban Pesach.  Immediately, the males circumcised themselves.  The medrash explains that the circumcision requires three partners, Moshe, Aaron and Yehushua, to assist the males perform the three parts of Bris Milah; make the incision, reveal the carona, and give the male to drink. 

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my husband’s office at Ohr Sameach speaking to Shifra Hendrie from the Global Geula Summit about the prediction of the Ariz’l on the re-attainment of the “crown” of femininity in pre-messianic times (for more of this, check out the chava course).  While speaking about crowns, she said as if out the blue, “like Carona”.  For some reason, my mind didn’t go to the name of the just starting to become infamous virus but rather to the fact that there are parts of the human body that carry this name.  Clearly, I thought to myself, the anotomical term “crown” (in both English and Hebrew) is a hint to the enormous potential for holiness of marriage and carries deep mystical significance.  I didn’t say anything.

[פריעה – the word used in the context of Bris Millah referring to the revealing of the corona, diverts my attention to another usage of this word, in the world of a woman. The source in the Torah for the mitzvah for a married Jewish woman to cover her hair is found in the section dealing with the suspected infidelity of the Sotah woman (Bamidbar 5:18); וְהֶעֱמִ֨יד הַכֹּהֵ֥ן אֶֽת־הָאִשָּׁה֮ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָה֒ וּפָרַע֙ אֶת־רֹ֣אשׁ הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֣ן עַל־כַּפֶּ֗יהָ אֵ֚ת מִנְחַ֣ת הַזִּכָּר֔וֹן מִנְחַ֥ת קְנָאֹ֖ת הִ֑וא וּבְיַ֤ד הַכֹּהֵן֙ יִהְי֔וּ מֵ֥י הַמָּרִ֖ים הַמְאָֽרֲרִֽים׃

“The Kohen shall have the woman stand before Hashem and uncover (reveal) the woman’s head… and in the hand of the Kohen shall be the bitter waters that cause curse.”  Revealing her hair is synonymous with stripping her crown.  From her we learn that a woman’s hair covering is her dignity and a crown upon her head. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.]

~

It is at this time that we feel our human vulnerability with excruciating focus.  Obsession, anxiety and panic have swept our thoughts and conversations.  In the Scroll of Esther which we just read on Purim, we read the word כתר, crown (or carona) in the phrase “כתר מלכות”.  The word crown appears, in fact, three times in the Megillah – and no where else in Tanach even once. Though we can’t fathom the ways of Hashem, it is likely that He leaves a signature on His card as a way to help us find our way Home.  He is a Master Artist of Life, and history is just His-Story unfolding before our eyes.  What does the name Carona indicate to us?  How does it pave a way to our healing? 

In Sefer haTanya by R Shneir Zlamon of Liadi, the crown we wear as a Jew is none other than our Emuna, a super-conscious channel that every Jew has connecting him directly to Hashem.  Emuna lives above and beyond all logic.  It is the only line we have to Hashem that sustains us through any weather.  When we live with this Emuna we are coronating Hashem as King.  It is uncanny that the name for this strain is covid– read: Kavod, the Honor of G-d.  This name carries His stamp.  Baruch Shem K’vod Malchuto L’Olam Vaed – we bring Hashem’s unity to the world when we whisper – blessed is the Name of the of Honor of His kingdom forever and ever.  Kavod – honor – in gematria is 26 (כבד), the numerical value of Hashem’s primary name, shem hovaya.

~

R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg suggests many gematriot for the Hebrew word “carona”.  One is that קרונה   equalls רפא נא לה – please, heal her, the prayer Moshe prayed for his sister Miriam while she was in quarantine.  So too, the One we ultimately pray for Her total healing is feminine, the Shechina, the lost princess of Hashem, still in exile and waiting to be redeemed. (To hear the lost princess class email info@thenexus.org).

~

In the plethora of information being circulated, I noted tonight how the coronavirus cannot survive in warmer temperatures. 

This immediately made me think again of the Purim story, of Haman, of Amalek, of whom the Torah says “that they cooled us off on the way”.  Their primary purpose in the world is to infect the Emuna of the Jew and cool down his ardent love of Hashem, stripping the crown of Emuna which sits atop his head.  It is fascinating that this virus, as soon as it is exposed to warmth, dissolves and melts out of existence.  This is a powerful lesson.  Our emuna is our birthright and inborn, always available.  Only that we don’t allow ourselves to be cooled.

~

N-95, another number with possibly messages to decipher!  R’ Labinsky notes that the name “haman” and the word “the king, hamelech” share the same numerical value, gematria, of 95.  In fact, in the primordial garden when Adam and Chava first ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Hashem broached their failing with the question (Genesis 3:11) הֲמִן־הָעֵ֗ץ אֲשֶׁ֧ר צִוִּיתִ֛יךָ לְבִלְתִּ֥י אֲכָל־מִמֶּ֖נּוּ אָכָֽלְתָּ׃ “did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Surprisingly, the words “did you [eat] from” in spell “Haman”!  The moment of lapse – as if Hashem didn’t know! –  that is Amalek,  the antithesis of our Emuna, our knowledge of G-d and devotion to our relationship with Him. 

The word “hamelech” appears 10 times in the Megillah, parallel to the ten “hamans”.  Haman had 10 sons who were hung in the aftermath of his execution, and the phrase Keter Malchus signifies the complete revelation of Hashem into the world through all of His 10 attributes/ sefirot (Keter being the uppermost and Malchut being the final one, representing a complete expression and reflection below as He Is above).

~

Mashiach is something we know, we believe, but did you ever think we would be living in these unprecendented times?

I knew we were preparing for the Geula.  I never imagined how fast it could be happening.

He who fears Hashem has nothing else to fear.

This is an Emuna game. 

We had best put on our crowns. 

~

So where to from here?

My son, Shlomo, read to me from the Gemara Bava Kama how to deal with plagues. It advises men and women to take caution when the angle of death is about, and walk gingerly on the figurative sides of the street so as not to taunt the angel.   The Talmud brings several sources of how next to proceed.  There is one verse that keeps sticking out in my mind, from Issai 26:20. לֵ֤ךְ עַמִּי֙ בֹּ֣א בַחֲדָרֶ֔יךָ וּֽסְגֹ֥ר דלתיך [דְּלָתְךָ֖] בַּעֲדֶ֑ךָ חֲבִ֥י כִמְעַט־רֶ֖גַע עַד־יעבור־[יַעֲבָר־] זָֽעַם׃ – “go my people, enter your rooms and close the door ; hide for a brief moment until the wrath has passed.”  These rooms are none other than the spaces of Torah study and our own inner sactums we call homes.  While the birth pangs of mashiach tighten their metallic grip around our bellies as we labor, we breathe.

~

Let’s tune inward and upward, and savor each moment with those close to us.  Let’s continue giving each-other chizuk and pray that we remain healthy in these pre-messianic times.  Let’s get into the heart of our inner relationship to Hashem.  Let’s turn towards His holy Torah, and perform as many mitzvos as we can – those that most easily surround us within the walls of our own homes.  May Hashem bring a refuah shelaima, refuas hanefesh and refuas haguf to His aching world.

~

R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg’s other gematria I loved… קרונה = וירא מנוחה כי טוב, speaking about the tribe of Yissachar, devoted to the study of Torah, “they saw rest that it was good”.  Only in Torah is our peace. 

~

Covid 19. 

This year, for me, was the year of the Chava course.  Not the Chava curse, but the chava course 🙂 – our efforts as women to help bring the tikkun still necessary at this chaotic moment late on the cosmic friday afternoon (considering that moshaich/ shabbos will come as the Shabbos Queen enters if we don’t bring her in early).  Our conscious act of putting on our crowns, and understanding truly what this means.

Chava is 19 in gematria.  Chava is the name of femininity that holds within it the contamination of the serpent (chivya in Aramaic is snake).  (Did they say this virus mutated from snakes?? [2])  May it be Hashem’s will that whatever vestiges of purification that still need to take place from the original sin and sullying of Hashem’s Keter Malchus be quickly and easily cleansed and may we share in the simcha and yeshua of the ultimate redemption very, very soon!

May we shoon shout Mazal Tov! with the delivery of our nation.

~

The chava course is available now at a special rate in the merit of our redemption!  Join our community HERE.  Enter in coupon code “returnthecrown”[3] for a special entry tuition.

[2] Also cited from R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg – the Aramaic expression of eating food before it is properlyprepared (a variation on the noachide law of not partaking from a live animal)is literally קוֹרְאוֹ נָא, called raw.  This is spells Carona in eery precision, phonetically. See Rashi, Shmot, 12:9. “אל תאכלו ממנו נא. שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָלוּי כָּל צָרְכּוֹ קוֹרְאוֹ נָא בְלָשׁוֹן עֲרָבִי:”

[3] Our sages speak in the language of חזרה עטרה ליושנה – returning the Crown (of Hashem) to its original Glory

I can’t help but comment that our first “Malchut Retreat” took place at my grandparent’s house.  They live on Coronation road.  I took this as a good siman at the time as the retreat took place just before Rosh Hashana.  Read more about Malchut on my Blog/festivals/Hues of Kingship.

[artwork by zeesi.  Zeesi.com]

There is something happening in the world.

Just like the Megilla presents a screen of what’s happening in our earthly realm and Esther and Mordechai and Esther were able to penetrate the Heavens and “read” the “telegram” from G-d by grasping the contours of its expression on earth (Esther 4:1, Rashi), so too we are called to interpret Hashem’s doings in the world in ways that assist us in coming closer to Him in these unprecedented times.  The whiffs of mashiach are tantalizingly close and tickling our nostrils!

A sure measure to ease the transition to the cosmic shabbos is to bring in Shabbos earlier and with great love and presence of mind.

Here is an interpretation for a kavana you can have while you say the special prayer before lighting candles when you bring in shabbos this week.  It is in the “style” of the tikkunei zohar! 

[The prayer starts:]

Hashem, may it be you Will, our G-d and the G-d of our fore-fathers, that You bestow upon us and all those close to us and the entire Jewish people good and long life, and that you remember us for good and for blessing, and that You account for us with salvation and compassion, and fill our homes with blessing.

[special kavana starts here]

May You rest Your Schechina upon us…. Hashem’s presence (the Shabbos Bride) becomes our Keter – Crown and starts the process 
May You bless us to raise sons and grandsons (daughters and granddaughters) who are wise (chachamim – this is chachma) and understanding (bina)

who love G-d (Chessed)

and fear G-d (gevurah)

men of truth (Tiferet)

and of holy seed (netzach and hod)

connected and bound to G-d (yesod)
and who illuminate the world with Torah and good deeds and all of Hashem’s holy work (Malchut)…

Please, hear our prayers at this time, in the merit of Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah our fore-mothers and allow our light to shine so that it is never extinguished,and illuminate us with revealing your Face and we will be saved. 

Amen.

[As it says in the Megilla, we strive to bring Hashem’s dominion to earth “b’Keter Malchut”, from all the way up on high until it is perfectly matched and reflected down here on earth.  This is the Shabbos Malka!]

Good shabbos

 

The Breathtaking Hidden Story of Esther as our Guide in the Footsteps of Mashiach
The Scroll of Esther: A Secret Teaching Tale for the Evolving Feminine
With Rebbitzen Tamar Taback

Inspired by Purim Bursts, by Sarah Yehudit Schneider, 2007

Powerful insights, tools and inspiration into cultivating an incredible marriage or marriage-to-be

 

Learn:
• Why Purim is the cosmic switch-point into our Era and holds within it the secrets of Redemption
• Why the salvation (then and now!) had to come about through a woman
• And Why Rising into your femininity is the order of the day!

Study:
• The three phases of all relationships
• How to detangle from enmeshment so that you can choose to love
• And when and how to appropriately exert your feminine influence

Touch on:
• The inner meaning of the Oral Law as a woman, the joys of motherhood as balanced with your own development, cultivating your Emuna and why it is important to keep on learning

All through the Megilla itself, with classical, Chassidic and mystical sources. Source sheets, diagrams and community forum included.

All in a single 1 hour and 50 minute session integrated with emotional and psychological tools

At the Nexus School of Transformational Torah for Women, where the light of Torah meets your life.

“I encourage Jewish women to deepen their connection to Torah well past their years in Seminary…” R’ Moshe Hillel Hirsh, Rosh Yeshiva of Slabotka

“I hope that women will have the wisdom to take advantage of this opportunity…” Rebbitzen Tzipora Heller

*Special for Purim!! It’s Free!! (Offer expires on Purim)
Enter coupon code itsmybirthday when you sign up
https://www.school.thenexus.org/courses/the-breathtaking-hidden-story-of-esther-as-our-guide
For spiritual and aspiring Jewish women

p.s. Did you know that Carona means Crown??
Understand the difference between Vashti’s and Esther’s crowns and why this is key, now …

There is so much happening, as we enter into the orbit of Adar, the month of our joy and pinnacle of our spiritual achievement throughout the entire year.  (Yes, its the last month and the top of the ladder so to speak before we begin a new cycle!)

It is a month of consolidation of all the heights we achieved, all the light we were privy to, as we insert those into the vessels of this world. 

It is so feminine.  So “nexus-y”, bringing light to vessel.  Putting the Emuna into our hearts.  And wearing that special glow we call joy.  

Here’s what’s happening:  read carefully please as most of your questions will be answered here.

This week, in Johannesburg, I am running a single session, consolidating the enormous strides we made into really “getting” the inner essence of our work as women in the 21st century.  We created a map of modern femininity through the mind-blowing paradigm that the Chassidic Torah teachings on Chava presented.  It was gorgeous, bH, and each woman processes and applies it in different ways.  

This Wednesday, we are “taking it home” with a mini-course on Chava. 
In 2 hours.  
I will be focusing on how the emergence of this new paradigm truly answers our pressing questions as modern women.  

Why is marriage so complicated now-a-days?  Why are standard Shalom Bayis classes only helpful to a point?  Why is dating so fraught now-a-days (especially as women get older)? Why are women so torn trying to juggle impossible roles of work and home?  Balance mothering children and their own inner life?  Is there even such a thing??  

I also want to hear what your questions are – as each one of us is living a different facet of the collective feminine archetypal experience.

As you can see, relationships play a prime role in our inner life.

I think that before we get into this, we need a huge frame within which to put it all, to come to grips with who we are at this time and how to make sense out of it.  And then thrive…  

And truly come to fulfill the prediction of our sages “in the merit of the righteous women in the final generation we will be redeemed”.

We cannot become our full selves without going on a healing journey. 

And we cannot go on a healing journey without the light of Torah. 

The mini-course will enable you to join SARAH starting March 4th!  

You need the foundational concepts covered in Chava to crack open Sarah.. and Rivka… and Rachel and Leah… all in good time.

But most of all – to crack open your own heart.

The mini-course is R180 for South Africans.

(Those overseas will have access to it when the video is ready beH.)

If you did the Chava course – this is where we will be taking it home and consolidating it. 

If you are brand new, you will get a mind-blast – I will try to ease the dilation so it doesn’t hurt 😉

The implications are huge and infinite. 

I can’t wait for you to join the community and add your gleanings.

~

Thank you for all your emails that you are keen to start Sarah.

The thought crossed my mind to wait until after pesach…. it’s a busy time of year for Jewish women…

Yet I know that the single session a week through the month of Adar will infuse our Chagim with incredible joy and energy. 

So we are resuming now  – as promised bH – for four weeks!

“There is no simcha other than the dissolution of doubts… “

Stop doubting yourself and embrace your fullest potential.  You are likely a gifted, sensitive, spiritual, (and humble, of course 🙂 Jewish woman.  

How are you going to channel those gifts to Hashem?  Channel your feminine brilliance to crafting marriages that sparkle, children that glow, friendships that shine, and a heart that sings Hashem’s praises as you go through your day? 

Sarah is OPEN for booking HERE.  

Important: You can only purchase Sarah if:
> you graduated from the Chava course
> you attended a Malchut retreat (in SA or in America)
> you did the crash course in Israel
> you attended the Shabbaton in Israel
> or you participate in this weeks mini-course!

I do recommend, however, even WITH the mini-course – that you do the full Chava course. It is so deep and really takes you on a journey that won’t be possible in a single session.  You can also purchase Chava and Sarah together at a special bundle rate right now HERE.   

PLUS!!! Register for Sarah in the next 3 days and get the PURIM session, (as promised from last year!!), “The Jewish Vision of how Man and Woman will relate when they have healed” – The Book of Esther as our Guide for Accessing Full Feminine Wisdom – FREE in time for Purim.

So here’s the School… follow sign-in buttons and choose your course:

Chava – available now.
regular $149 (10 self-coaching sessions) – opening week special $99 till Mar 1st.  You can move straight on to Sarah when you are ready.
Use coupon code “openingweekchava” for the special. 
click HERE.

Sarah – (see conditions for joining below) released from Mar 4th.
4 light+vessel sessions before Rosh Chodesh Nissan – Regular $59.  Opening week only – $49  plus includes free Purim session
Coupon code: “openingweeksarah”
Click HERE.

Chava plus Sarah –
$129! Opening Week only! until March 1st
use code: “openingweekbundle”
Click HERE. 

Chava mini-course happening live this week in Joburg – reply to this email to join!  R180. 

If you missed the Opening Event, (Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, myself and R’ Nir Menussi) you can log on here (free) to watch it.

ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששון ויקר!
To the Jews there was light, joy, gladness and honor.. 

One of the women had this to say; “It’s time we rise above the Chava curse.  Take the Chava course!”  🙂  אמן כן יהי רצון. 

Don’t hesitate to email info@thenexus.org if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Wishing you a wonderful week and Chodesh tov,

3 Free Videos

This past Sunday was a special day.  

After months of anticipation, we finally opened our “makom (place of) Torah” for 2020.  

It has taken until now for me to absorb its light and impact, as well as for the videos to be edited.  I am so happy to share them with you. 

~

Chief Rabbi Goldstein addressed the fundamental question – how can there be something “new” in Torah, (as in “the “Rise?” of the Feminine”), as Torah is Divine and unchanging?  Together with his wife Gina, he put beautiful words to the phenomenon of meeting Torah where it meets us in each generation, creating a lived experience of our Jewishness that is vibrant and alive.  His excitement for Torah comes through every time he speaks and I appreciated the blessing he extends to all of us. 

Sign in (free) at the school to watch the Chief Rabbi HERE

My talk, “Come, My Bride – the Rise of the Feminine in the Modern Era” was both a deepening for those of you that have been studying with me over the years as well as I hope an apt entry point for those that are new.  It was a tall order, juggling amid my commitments foremost as a wife and mother bH, off the bat of shabbos… but it is precisely when we feel small that Hashem lets us know that He is where we let Him in.  This shiur turned out to be a commentary to the Lecha Dodi prayer that we say every Friday night, a secret reference to the odyssey and calling of Jewish women living late on our “cosmic Friday afternoon”, a.k.a. in the “footsteps of Moshiach”.  It addresses how and why I am teaching this Torah through our mothers, our Imahot, and also goes into the psychological applications of these teachings and what they can start to mean for us.

(I was not meditating.  I had blinked 🙂

Sign in (free) to watch my presentation HERE

Rabbi Nir Menussi picked up where I left off and asked the question from a man’s perspective – where does all this leave the men?  What are the new tensions that arise in relationships, in shidduchim, in marriage?  He too quoted from his wife and spun a very enriching tale pregnant with meaning and guidance for the women of our generation.  He traveled all the way from Israel to be with us and is the author of the new release “Who is this Rising?” about femininity in the modern era upon who’s manuscript I have based the Rise! into your Feminine Series.  It was so appropriate having him with us. (The book will only be available in English in the next couple of years.)

Sign in (free) to watch R’ Menussi HERE

We are starting next week!  Stay tuned in your inbox for all info.

~

Here is a small poem I wrote while preparing for my Opening shiur based on the Lecha Dodi prayer.  (Check out my blog if you want more commentary, in footnotes.)

We are approaching the cosmic Shabbos, the 7th millennium feminine phase 
Of pleasure and bliss when the moon’s regained light will defy human gaze 

On Shabbos “Observe” and “Remember” come as one, equal and aligned, 
This represents the feminine and masculine in consummate meeting refined… 

The story of Dovid is the story of Malchut and the moon 
The lowness of dust becomes a redemption tune

…The daughters of Peretz, the moon that bursts forth
In her roundabout melody, till infinity will soareth…
 

A crown unto creation… she enters, the Bride 
The one who ushers in reality’s better side… 

Wishing you a beautiful Shabbos,

Much love,

Tamar

Go forth my love to meet the bride.

Shabbat’s reception has arrived!

Commentary to Lecha Dodi in italics

Dedicated to the Embrace Shabbos women, Nachlaot, Jerusalem, Feb 2020

~

לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה. פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

We are approaching the cosmic Shabbos, the 7th millennium feminine phase [1]

Of pleasure and bliss when the moon’s regained light will defy human gaze [2]

שָׁמוֹר וְזָכוֹר בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד, הִשְמִיעָנוּ אֵל הַמְּיֻחָד. יְיָ אֶחָד וּשְמוֹ אֶחָד. לְשֵׁם וּלְתִפְאֶרֶת וְלִתְהִלָּה: לכה

“Observe” and “Remember” in a single word,
He caused us to hear, the One and Only Lord.
G‑d is One and His Name is One,
For renown, for glory and in song.

On Shabbos “Observe” and “Remember” come as one, equal and aligned, [3]

This represents the feminine and masculine in consummate meeting refined 

לִקְרַאת שַׁבָּת לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה. כִּי הִיא מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכָה. מֵרֹאשׁ מִקֶּדֶם נְסוּכָה. סוֹף מַעֲשֶׂה בְּמַחֲשָׁבָה תְּחִלָּה: לכה

To welcome the Shabbat, let us progress,
For that is the source, from which to bless.
From the beginning, chosen before time,
Last in deed, but in thought – prime.

As woman was created last of all [4]

Last to appear but in God’s Thought she stood tall 

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

מִקְדַּשׁ מֶלֶךְ עִיר מְלוּכָה. קוּמִי צְאִי מִתּוֹךְ הַהֲפֵכָה. רַב לָךְ שֶׁבֶת בְּעֵמֶק הַבָּכָא. וְהוּא יַחֲמוֹל עָלַיִךְ חֶמְלָה: לכה

Sanctuary of the King, city royal,
Arise, go out from amidst the turmoil.
In the vale of tears too long you have dwelt,
He will show you the compassion He has felt.

We have cried all our tears, through diminishment [5] and curse

But when things turn around, what was least likely to peak is revealed as first [6]

הִתְנַעֲרִי מֵעָפָר קוּמִי. לִבְשִׁי בִּגְדֵי תִפְאַרְתֵּךְ עַמִּי: עַל יַד בֶּן יִשַׁי בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי. קָרְבָה אֶל נַפְשִׁי גְאָלָהּ: לכה

Arise, now, shake off the dust,
Don your robes of glory – my people – you must.
Through the son of Jesse, the Bethelemite,
Draw near to my soul, set her free from her plight.

The story of Dovid is the story of Malchut and the moon [7]

The lowness of dust becomes a redemption tune

הִתְעוֹרְרִי הִתְעוֹרְרִי. כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ קוּמִי אוֹרִי. עוּרִי עוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּרִי. כְּבוֹד יְיָ עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה: לכה

Wake up, wake up,
Your light has come, rise and shine.
Awaken, awaken; sing a melody,
The glory of G‑d to be revealed upon thee.

No rewording here:  this is our song:

Wake up, wake up,
Your light has come, rise and shine.
Awaken, awaken; sing a melody,
The glory of G‑d to be revealed upon thee.

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

לֹא תֵבוֹשִׁי וְלֹא תִכָּלְמִי. מַה תִּשְתּוֹחֲחִי וּמַה תֶּהֱמִי. בָּךְ יֶחֱסוּ עֲנִיֵּי עַמִּי, וְנִבְנְתָה עִיר עַל תִּלָּהּ: לכה

Be not ashamed, nor confounded,
Why are you downcast, why astounded?
In you, refuge for My poor people will be found,
The city will be rebuilt on its former mound.

The path of humility has paved the way thus far [8]

Above shame and confusion we come out over par [9]

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

וְהָיוּ לִמְשִׁסָּה שֹׁאסָיִךְ. וְרָחֲקוּ כָּל מְבַלְּעָיִךְ. יָשִׂישׂ עָלַיִךְ אֱלֹהָיִךְ. כִּמְשׂוֹשׂ חָתָן עַל כַּלָּה: לכה

May your plunderers be treated the same way,
And all who would devour you be kept at bay.
Over you Your G‑d will rejoice,
As a groom exults in his bride of choice.

As women we represent the inner essence of mankind [10]

And receive Hashem’s love forever protected, sublime[11]

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל תִּפְרוֹצִי. וְאֶת־יְיָ תַּעֲרִיצִי. עַל יַד אִישׁ בֶּן פַּרְצִי. וְנִשְׂמְחָה וְנָגִילָה: לכה

To right and left you’ll spread abroad,
And the Eternal One you shall laud.
Through the man from Peretz’s family,
We shall rejoice and sing happily.

The daughters of Peretz [12], the moon that bursts forth

In her roundabout melody, till infinity will now soareth [13]

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

בּוֹאִי בְשָׁלוֹם עֲטֶרֶת בַּעְלָהּ. גַּם בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְצָהֳלָה. תּוֹךְ אֱמוּנֵי עַם סְגֻּלָּה. בּוֹאִי כַלָּה, בּוֹאִי כַלָּה: לכה:

Come in peace, her Husband’s crown of pride,
With song (on Festivals: rejoicing) and good cheer. 
Among the faithful of the people so dear
Enter O Bride, enter O Bride;

A crown unto creation [14]… she enters, the bride 

The one who ushers in reality’s better side

O Bride, Shabbat Queen, now come here!

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

Wake up, wake up,
Your light has come, rise and shine.
Awaken, awaken; sing a melody,
The glory of G‑d to be revealed upon thee. [15]

~

[1] Chazal tell us that the six days of creation parallel the six millennia.  The seventh day, Shabbos [a bride, i.e. feminine], corresponds to the messianic era

[2] the moon was originally created as an equal luminary to the sun but then lost her full capacity for light.  Isaai 30:26 tells us that in the end of days she will regain her full glow.

 [3] Zachor (like the Hebrew word זכר) represents the male in that it is an active behavior.  Shamor represents the female in that it is a negative behavior (observing the לא תעשה). Zachor and Shamor coming at once represents their total union. (see Shevuot 20b:9, below)

[4] The archetype woman is synonymous with the Shabbos bride, the Shechina, and Hashem’s Malchut i.e. revelation in the world (see sources below)

[5] As Hashem told the moon, the symbol of the feminine archetype, לכי ומעטי את עצמך – “go and make yourself small”.  This coincided with the klalot to Chava after the fall. 

[6] ההפכה means turning around, or flip – reminiscent of the verse (psalms, Hallel) “אבן שמאסו הבונים היתה לראש פינה” – the stone that the builders rejected will become the cornerstone 

[7] Dovid is the “seventh shepherd”, the last of the seven embodiments of the middos of Hashem (also called ushpizin), named “malchut”, kindship.  See the Kiddush Lavana liturgy to see the connection between Dovid and the moon. (See the school HERE)

[8] Everything Hashem does is for the good.  Klala, as translated as curses, misses this important point.  Tikkun is a more helpful term to understand the diminishment.  The secret to growing through the curses/ tikkunim is to embrace them with love.  This brings closer the time when they are no longer needed than does resisting them.

[9] When the primordial serpent contaminated Chava and subsequently Adam, in addition to ingesting the fruit, the shame and disgrace which was not part of our makeup lodged itself within.  The only way to emerging out of shame is to through connection to Hashem.  There will come a time when our skin bodies will return to the light bodies they originally were, and nakedness will carry no smidgen of corruption. 

[10] The Jewish people are likened to a woman in relation to G-d, in their being receptive and in need of His beneficence. (Song of songs) As such, womankind is a symbol for humanity itself vis a vis her lover, Adam, analogous to G-d Himself.  The numerical value of the name of Chava before her diminishment, Chaya, is 23.  The is the numerical center-point to the name of Adam, which is in gematria, 45.  Hence femininity is the inner essence of humanity and has much to bring to the ultimate healing of mankind. 

[11] In the future, the archetype of all femininity, Chava, will become Chedva, which means joy and gladness.  There is no joy other than receiving Hashem’s flow of Loving-Kindness and light.  The goal and path to our development as women is to rise above the shame and open up to Hashem’s love, and receive it directly.

[12] Peretz literally means to “burst forth” and depicts the moon’s waxing and waning nature.  Peretz’s twin brother, Zerach, means to shine, like the son.  The line of Jewish monarchy comes from Peretz.  (Kli Yakar on the Torah)

[13] The medrash (shir hashirim) says that all redemptions before the ultimate coming of moshiach are called shira, in the feminine, but the ultimate harbinger will be called a shir, in the masculine.  This is because women conceive and carry pregnancies, and when they deliver (their offspring) once again conceive and thus go into another period of “exile” in need of redemption.  But the ultimate redemption will be final and is thus called a “shir”, as all potential will have become actualized at that time.

[14] See the Chava course for an in-depth description of what the attainment of our crown could be referring to https://thenexus.org/school-2/

[15] Interestingly though, on shabbos, this relationships inverts and we as the Jewish people are compared to the Groom of the Shabbos, who becomes our bride. (See source from the sefer HaPliah, below) Thus, it can be said that Hashem’s Shechina (feminine Presence) becomes receptive to our influence.

~

Sources and references for Lecha Dodi, (Sefaria )

שבת קי״ט א:ב׳

רבי חנינא מיעטף וקאי אפניא דמעלי שבתא אמר בואו ונצא לקראת שבת המלכה רבי ינאי לביש מאניה מעלי שבת ואמר בואי כלה בואי כלה

Shabbat 119a:2

  1. Hanina would cover himself [in a cloak] and stand towards the beginning of Shabbat and say: Come, let us go out to greet the Sabbath queen. R. Yannai would wear a [special] garment on Sabbath eve and say Come, bride; come, bride.

שיר השירים ז׳:י״ב

(יב) לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים׃

Song of Songs 7:12

(12) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

Shlomo Alkabetz on Shir HaShirim:

Here this verse specifies the necessary condition for prophetic inspiration – namely, the need for self-imposed solitude (hitbodedut). For anyone who wishes to unite (dvekut) one’s soul with supreme spiritual forces, must remove distractions and go out to the field for that is a place of meditational solitude.

Sefer HaPeliah I 36b

Just as the Kallah arrives before the Hatan, dressed beautifully, with jewelry and perfume, So Shabbat arrives before Israel dressed beautifully with jewelry….

Just as the Hatan is dressed in magnificent attire, so a person should dress magnificently for Shabbat. Just as the Hatan enjoys pleasures all seven days of the wedding,

so a person should indulge in pleasures on Shabbat.

Just as the Hatan takes off from work, so does person refrain for work for Shabbat….

One should not eat on Shabbat afternoon so as to enter Shabbat with an appetite,

just as the Hatan fasts from food and drink on the day of the wedding.

So a person should be very careful to sanctify Shabbat with wine,

Just as Hatan is careful to sanctify (kiddushin) his bride [with wine].

Who is the Bride? Who is the Groom

בראשית רבה י״א:ח׳

(ח) ד”א למה ברכו, ר’ ברכיה ורבי דוסתאי ורבי שמואל בר נחמן, רבי דוסתאי אומרים שאין לו בן זוג, חד בשבתא, תרי, תלתא, ארבעתא, חמשא, ערובתא, שבתא לית לה בן זוג. . . . תני ר”ש בן יוחאי: אמרה שבת לפני הקב”ה “רבש”ע לכולן יש בן זוג, ולי אין בן זוג”, א”ל הקב”ה “כנסת ישראל היא בן זוגך”,וכיון שעמדו ישראל לפני הר סיני אמר להם הקב”ה זכרו הדבר שאמרתי לשבת כנסת ישראל היא בן זוגך היינו דבור (שמות כ) “זכור את יום השבת לקדשו”.

Bereishit Rabbah 11:8

Why did God bless Shabbat? Rabbi Berekiah says: “Because it has no partner. The first day of the week has the second, the third has the fourth, the fifth has the sixth, but Shabbat has no partner. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught: Shabbat pleased with the Holy One, Blessed be God saying: “Everyone else has a partner, but I have nothing!” God answered saying: “The community of Israel will be your partner.” God continued: “And when they stood before Sinai, God said to the Israelites: “Remember what I said to Shabbat, that the community of Israel is your partner, [in the words of scripture] “Remember Shabbat and keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8)…

ישעיהו נ״ד:ה׳-ח׳

(ה) כִּ֤י בֹעֲלַ֙יִךְ֙ עֹשַׂ֔יִךְ יי צְבָא֖וֹת שְׁמ֑וֹ וְגֹֽאֲלֵךְ֙ קְד֣וֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֱלֹהֵ֥י כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ יִקָּרֵֽא׃ (ו) כִּֽי־כְאִשָּׁ֧ה עֲזוּבָ֛ה וַעֲצ֥וּבַת ר֖וּחַ קְרָאָ֣ךְ יי וְאֵ֧שֶׁת נְעוּרִ֛ים כִּ֥י תִמָּאֵ֖ס אָמַ֥ר אֱלֹהָֽיִךְ׃ (ז) בְּרֶ֥גַע קָטֹ֖ן עֲזַבְתִּ֑יךְ וּבְרַחֲמִ֥ים גְּדֹלִ֖ים אֲקַבְּצֵֽךְ׃ (ח) בְּשֶׁ֣צֶף קֶ֗צֶף הִסְתַּ֨רְתִּי פָנַ֥י רֶ֙גַע֙ מִמֵּ֔ךְ וּבְחֶ֥סֶד עוֹלָ֖ם רִֽחַמְתִּ֑יךְ אָמַ֥ר גֹּאֲלֵ֖ךְ יי (ס)

Isaiah 54:5-8

  1. For your Maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and your redeemer the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the earth.
  2. For the Lord has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, but a wife of youth, Can she be rejected? says your God.
  3. For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercy will I gather you.
  4. In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord your redeemer.

הושע ב׳:י״ח-כ״ב

(יח) וְהָיָ֤ה בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה תִּקְרְאִ֖י אִישִׁ֑י וְלֹֽא־תִקְרְאִי־לִ֥י ע֖וֹד בַּעְלִֽי׃ (יט) וַהֲסִרֹתִ֛י אֶת־שְׁמ֥וֹת הַבְּעָלִ֖ים מִפִּ֑יהָ וְלֹֽא־יִזָּכְר֥וּ ע֖וֹד בִּשְׁמָֽם׃ (כ) וְכָרַתִּ֨י לָהֶ֤ם בְּרִית֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עִם־חַיַּ֤ת הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְעִם־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וְקֶ֨שֶׁת וְחֶ֤רֶב וּמִלְחָמָה֙ אֶשְׁבּ֣וֹר מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְהִשְׁכַּבְתִּ֖ים לָבֶֽטַח׃ (כא) וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽבְרַחֲמִֽים׃ (כב) וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה וְיָדַ֖עַתְּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃ (ס)

Hosea 2:18-22

  1. And it shall be at that day, says the Lord, that you shall call me My husband (“Ishi”); and shall no more call me My master (“Baali”).
  2. For I will take away the names of Baalim from her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned by their name.
  3. And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground; and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them lie down safely.
  4. And I will betroth you to me for ever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in grace, and in mercies.
  5. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.

שבועות כ׳ ב:ט׳

ומאי דבר אחד הן דבדיבור אחד נאמרו כדתניא (שמות כ, ז) זכור (דברים ה, יא) ושמור בדיבור אחד נאמרו מה שאין יכול הפה לדבר ומה שאין האוזן יכול לשמוע

Shevuot 20b:9

What is the meaning of the phrase “they are one” It means that they were said in one utterance as we find in the Torah Whereas in (Exodus 20:7) it says “remember”, its parallel (Deuteronomy 5:11) reads “observe.” This is to teach that both words were said in a single utterance, one that human mouth can’t utter, and one that a human ear can’t hear.

Tradition connects the two candles lit on Shabbat to the two forms of the Shabbat commandment found in the Torah: “זכור remember” and “שמור observe.”

From a kabbalaistic View, זכור represents זכר (male). The sephirot (system of divine attributes) calls this masculine falice yesod יסוד. The word שמור represents שכינה, God’s female attribute, also called מלכות. On Shabbat, the two unite together, bringing about the offspring of redemption and holiness.

Lecha Dodi Biblical

ירמיהו י״ג:י״א

(יא) כִּ֡י כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ יִדְבַּ֨ק הָאֵז֜וֹר אֶל־מָתְנֵי־אִ֗ישׁ כֵּ֣ן הִדְבַּ֣קְתִּי אֵ֠לַי אֶת־כָּל־בֵּ֨ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל וְאֶת־כָּל־בֵּ֤ית יְהוּדָה֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה לִֽהְי֥וֹת לִי֙ לְעָ֔ם וּלְשֵׁ֥ם וְלִתְהִלָּ֖ה וּלְתִפְאָ֑רֶת וְלֹ֖א שָׁמֵֽעוּ׃

Jeremiah 13:11

  1. For as the girdle fits tightly to the loins of a man, so have I caused to hold tightly to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says the Lord; that they might be to me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory; but they would not hear.

שמואל א ט׳:ט׳

(ט) לְפָנִ֣ים ׀ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר הָאִישׁ֙ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ לִדְר֣וֹשׁ אֱלֹהִ֔ים לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־הָרֹאֶ֑ה כִּ֤י לַנָּבִיא֙ הַיּ֔וֹם יִקָּרֵ֥א לְפָנִ֖ים הָרֹאֶֽה׃

I Samuel 9:9

(9) Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said: ‘Come and let us go to the seer’; for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer.—

ישעיהו ב׳:ה׳

(ה) בֵּ֖ית יַעֲקֹ֑ב לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה בְּא֥וֹר יי

Isaiah 2:5

(5) O house of Jacob, come and let us go in the light of the LORD.

משלי ח׳:כ״ג

(כג) מֵ֭עוֹלָם נִסַּ֥כְתִּי מֵרֹ֗אשׁ מִקַּדְמֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃

Proverbs 8:23

(23) I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Or ever the earth was.

שופטים ה׳:י״ב

(יב) עוּרִ֤י עוּרִי֙ דְּבוֹרָ֔ה ע֥וּרִי ע֖וּרִי דַּבְּרִי־שִׁ֑יר ק֥וּם בָּרָ֛ק וּֽשֲׁבֵ֥ה שֶׁבְיְךָ֖ בֶּן־אֲבִינֹֽעַם׃

Judges 5:12

(12) Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, sing a song; Arise, Barak, and lead your captive son Avinoam free.

Zohar:

עור with an ׳ע׳ represents the number 70 for the 70 nations of the world that rule over Israel during our exile from the Garden, from Jerusalem. In the exile we are protected from these 70 wolves by skins of holiness, the Tefillin which are made of animal skins. Yet on Shabbat we have no need of the Tefillin. We are protected by observing Shabbat in such a way as to make amends for the sin in the Garden. In place of the skins we wear Shabbat clothes…

ישעיהו מ׳:ה׳

(ה) וְנִגְלָ֖ה כְּב֣וֹד יי וְרָא֤וּ כָל־בָּשָׂר֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו כִּ֛י פִּ֥י יי דִּבֵּֽר׃ (ס)

Isaiah 40:5

  1. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

ישעיהו נ״א:י״ז

(יז) הִתְעוֹרְרִ֣י הִֽתְעוֹרְרִ֗י ק֚וּמִי יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁתִ֛ית מִיַּ֥ד יי אֶת־כּ֣וֹס חֲמָת֑וֹ אֶת־קֻבַּ֜עַת כּ֧וֹס הַתַּרְעֵלָ֛ה שָׁתִ֖ית מָצִֽית׃

Isaiah 51:17

  1. Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, who has drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; you have drunk to the dregs the bowl of staggering.

שיר השירים א׳:ד׳

(ד) מָשְׁכֵ֖נִי אַחֲרֶ֣יךָ נָּר֑וּצָה הֱבִיאַ֨נִי הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ חֲדָרָ֗יו נָגִ֤ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה֙ בָּ֔ךְ נַזְכִּ֤ירָה דֹדֶ֙יךָ֙ מִיַּ֔יִן מֵישָׁרִ֖ים אֲהֵבֽוּךָ׃ (ס)

Song of Songs 1:4

  1. Draw me after you, we will run; the king has brought me into his chambers; we will be glad

דברים ז׳:ו׳

(ו) כִּ֣י עַ֤ם קָדוֹשׁ֙ אַתָּ֔ה לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּךָ֞ בָּחַ֣ר ׀ יי אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ לִהְי֥וֹת לוֹ֙ לְעַ֣ם סְגֻלָּ֔ה מִכֹּל֙ הָֽעַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הָאֲדָמָֽה׃ (ס)

Deuteronomy 7:6

  1. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.

ירמיהו ט״ו:ה׳

(ה) כִּ֠י מִֽי־יַחְמֹ֤ל עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וּמִ֖י יָנ֣וּד לָ֑ךְ וּמִ֣י יָס֔וּר לִשְׁאֹ֥ל לְשָׁלֹ֖ם לָֽךְ׃

Jeremiah 15:5

  1. For who shall have pity upon you, O Jerusalem? Who shall bemoan you? Who shall go aside to ask you how you do?

ישעיהו נ״ב:ב׳

(ב) הִתְנַעֲרִ֧י מֵעָפָ֛ר ק֥וּמִי שְּׁבִ֖י יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם התפתחו [הִֽתְפַּתְּחִי֙] מוֹסְרֵ֣י צַוָּארֵ֔ךְ שְׁבִיָּ֖ה בַּת־צִיּֽוֹן׃ (ס)

Isaiah 52:2

(2) Shake off the dust; Arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; Loosen yourself from the shackles, O captive daughter of Zion.

משלי י״ב:ד׳

(ד) אֵֽשֶׁת־חַ֭יִל עֲטֶ֣רֶת בַּעְלָ֑הּ

Proverbs 12:4

(4) A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband

 

 

 

Shalom!

This is going to be an adventure through pictures!  

Thank you for sharing it with me!

1. The Bais Yaakov St. Louis once in 25 years Dinner.  

It was a revelatory evening –  a once in a life-time event.  I was struck speechless.

Click the video image to hear my speech none-the-less.   (This is the unedited version in which I included my thank yous – and I mentioned all of you.)

The 7 minute speech’s proper name is: “The Cave of Machpela, the Rise of the final ה and the Depth of Humor” and is an aliya neshama for R’ Gershon Zeffren Zt”l.

It also could have been called, and though I am joking, I am not:  “where The Bais Yaakov movement/ Sarah Schneirer a”h meets (the tip of the iceberg of) R’ Moshe Shapiro’s Torah” and pretty much sums up my lofty dreams for all of us.

Hodu Lashem Ki tov.

The woman in the red hat is my piano teacher, Laura Schindler, who taught me music between the ages of  8 and 18.  The other picture is me with my sister Shani Roberts.  Here is an alumi shot – my incredible principal Mrs Tova Greenblatt in the center.

2. Ohel Sara Amen Group Rosh Chodesh Kislev

“The Lost Princess” 

Wow. In the bristling cold women assembled to sing Hallel and learn Torah.  I cannot describe the beauty of women singing Hallel.  It literally felt like the Schechina Rising.  In fact, that’s what the sources say… that David HaMelech was a musician because he was healing the exiled Schechina.  When women sing the month in – I have no words to describe the power.  I thank Ohel Sara for inviting me to join in.

The shiur “The Lost Princess”  doubles up as the FIRST CLASS of the Chava, Rise into your Feminine Series!! This is what I had in mind before I even prepared the Chava series (though I didn’t know I would be delivering it in NY!).  It explains all the correlations between the moon, the woman, the Schechina, and what “the rise of the feminine” means.  (No, it does not mean feminism).

I also officially discarded the name “Pre-Messianic Woman” right in the middle of the shiur.  (Well, bli neder.)  You can hear why when you click on the image.

Shiur zechus aliyha neshama for Sara Yuta bas Ephraim Menachem Mendel 

3. The Concert

At Bracha’s in Monsey I shared some of the Yonatan Razel piano covers I have been working on with vocals. 
At the end of the concert, one of the listeners stepped forward with her guitar and sang her very own composition called “Princess”.  This was of course totally unprepared and was one of the many hashgachos that guided the trip.
Tzirrel Liba runs the Shabbos Queen Project and you can receive her songs and Pre-Shabbos inspiration by joining HERE. 

(pre-shabbos = pre-messianic…. 🙂

For Bracha: it felt so familiar to be with an x-south african who bravely welcomed the unknown into her house 🙂 I long to return to your yoga studio!

Tremendous Gratitude goes to all my hosts as well to Rachel Leah Ismali, Rena Hagbi and others who resonate with my vision and put in hours to plan all of the events. 

Special mention to Henya Storch from The Storch Agency.  Little did I know I landed in pure gold when I arrived there on Thansgiving day for an overnight stay (see my tray of gluten and dairy free treats!)  May Hashem continue to fill your spacious heart with His Love and the love of us all. 

4.  A “Fool Proof” Formula Marriage Mini-Seminar 😉

Thursday evening, we held a 4 hour mini-seminar called “Cultivating a Pre-Messianic Marriage” or a “Geuladik Marriage”.  It was a safe place for us to explore our paradigms through Torah sources and make all sorts of connections.  Unfortunately I don’t have anything shareable from that special meeting as of yet but I can say that it is an incredibly important topic and some of those insights will be included this coming year as we learn about the Imahos at the school, of which the first course Chava is pre-requisite.  Chava is starting again for the last time before we move ahead, on the first night of Chanuka and you can join HERE

(Note: You will see how the course is valued, please reach out if you need assistance.)

I was delighted to see Rebbitzen Baila Gitty Vorhand who popped in right as we finished.  She is the writer of Emunas.com, Torah of the Mashgiach R’ Moshe Wolfson and has just published “Free to be Me”, published by Artscroll, on the topic of tzinus, for girls and educators, which I highly recommend.

5.  The Malchus Retreat

Phew!  There was one day left and my parents, may Hashem bless them, drove me to the retreat in the ice and snow.  Amazingly, all the women too managed to get through the precarious weather.  If you missed reading about the The Malchus Retreat – the immersive, in-depth Torah + healing day that we spent together, here it is (click on the picture).

(Now I know why the Albany Shabbaton plans were “recalculated” to Motzai Shabbos/ Sunday!)

I will conclude with my message to you I wrote in the Bais Yaakov Dinner Journal.  

“To my friends and soul-sisters at Nexus, 

The most amazing thing about our learning community is its circle nature.  As a circle has no beginning or ending, no up or down, through our connection with each other we are all empowered to become all that we can be.  I am the lucky recipient of your love and I glow every day with your light.  May we continue to dance our circle dance of the future.”

Love,

Share nexus with friends and family by forwarding this email
free subscriptions at www.thenexus.org 

It is Tu B’shvat. 

Everything is ready to spring forth… only the stirrings are too deep within the earth to be visible.

Typical as Jews, we are celebrating already. 

That is the power of Emuna.  (Or shall we call it.. E-moon-a? 😉 

The fruit of the tree represents the sweet outcome of all our blood, sweat and tears, the object of our strivings.

I have just arrived back from my trip to Eretz Yisroel.  I tasted the winter.  Outside my window now as I write in my home in Johannesburg my lawn is as green as late summer.  Yet in the inner plane, we are all one, our seasons may differ but we share the same pulse of the Jewish year.

The sap is rising.
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There is so much about to spring forth, for our new “school-year” at Nexus, for Jewish women, for Klal Yisroel.  May the future approach us l’tovah and may we only share simchas!

Where do I start? 

(Make sure you catch the end of this email for news of the Nexus School Opening 2020 launch, live in person with Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and special guest from Eretz Yisroel R’ Nir Menussi, author of the sefer “Who is this Rising?” which has formed the base for my feature courses, Rise! Into your Feminine, Chava and Imahot.)

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Here goes.

My daughter, Ayala Esther, is becoming a bas-mitzvah in a few weeks.  Whomever we asked for a brocha said the same thing about her name: Ayala is a hint to the morning star, the Ayelet Hashachar that signals the rising of the dawn.  (See psalm 22.) It is the faith in a brighter future that appears in the dark of night.  (Just like Tu B’shvat!)  Esther means hidden.  This is exactly our theme as women, growing with and into the new light, the אור חדש, that is dawning, cherishing it within us until it will blaze fully in its time. 

My mission for the trip was to share the gems from the Chava course with the women in Israel.   Thus, I was to be speaking about femininity through everything we have articulated thus far at the school.  Little did I know that I was to face my own femininity like never before.  Yes, the best part of the trip caught me by surprise, and only emerged at the end.  My trip to Israel was a home-coming, but not in the way I thought it would be.  
 
Right as we arrived, our accommodation fell through.  Despite all that we had planned, we suddenly could only think of one thing: our basic needs. Lodging, transportation, and food (gluten free!) – in that order! It drove home the point that without a home – a bayit – the container for anything and everything else just doesn’t exist.  The Jewish woman is the one who in her beingness creates these very oases, those spaces that despite their imperfections are the perfect places that set the stage for history to unfold. 

Special thank you to our three hosts that provided a home for u:  My sister Devorah Hochstadter in Ramat Beis Shemesh and Chaya Lester and Rivka Stauber in Nachlaot.  I cannot thank you enough. 

Here are some pictures that I managed to snap, in no particular order.  The beautiful inner city.

It was a huge privilege visiting my seminary, BJJ, 20 years after leaving.  There it is in the background.  My teachers, bli ayin hara – may Hashem bless them with continued vigor, are still teaching, still pouring everything they have and are into new talmidot every single year.  These sterling Bais Yaakov schools are a lesson in stability, in un-shakeable values, and in the richness and fulfillment that comes from living according to those values.  

R’ Menussi’s wife, Naama, drove us to meet the source of Rav Menussi’s inspiration for his book, “Who is this Rising”, R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, which was a great zechut.  I didn’t realize that he hailed from St. Louis, the city where I grew up.  The meeting transcended words – so it is with a great person who is comfortable with himself, he did not need to fill the gaps with unnecessary speech.  His presence and support gave me great chizuk.  

Ah, the Embrace Shabbos Shabbaton.  I cannot put into words how magical it is when women connect with each-other around their connection to Hashem. It is truly Miriam’s Circle Dance when that happens.  It was an honor to teach alongside Rebbitzen Yehudis Golshevsky and the entire staff at Shiviti (check out this beautiful women’s center of learning in the heart of Jerusalem:  www.shiviti.org.il). Liba and Rochel, living continents apart, began something which I think is just the beginning when they organized this.  You can be in touch with them here: https://www.kavconnect.com/embraceshabbos.

    

  

Emuna day.  I don’t know how or why, but I was asked to be MC.  Despite the fact that I was backpacking through Israel with a baby, I did my best to open the incredible gathering of over 400 Jerusalem English speaking women seeking to make contact with the Emuna that is our inner essence.  It may fluctuate in how much it penetrates us at any given moment, but it is always there – it is ours.  The incredible vision of this event belongs to Devorah Yaffa Singer. (pictured just above: Rivka Stauber, Orit Esther Riter)

(There is something happening, can you feel it?) 

        

^ Rochel Weiman from Kav Connect and Elevate Shabbos Retreats (left) and my awesome sister Devorah (right)

The Chava Crash Course in Israel took place at the Nitza Center, a center dedicated to the support of women after birth (no video yet).  Thank you so much to Jeanne (Shaina) Rubin for hosting us.  It was perfect!  What a diverse we were and how the teachings met us all where we needed to be.  
  
Stay tuned for Feb 23rd for the South African crash course! which I’ll tell you about next time.  It will be recorded and will enable you to join Sarah which is starting really soon beH – Feb 26th!!

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Before I sign off…. if you haven’t joined the Global Geula Summit yet, here it is!  

I am so looking forward to my interview with Shifra.  Her way of seeing the world is very, very large.  Geula isn’t something that we can’t relate to.  It is something we create, long for, and align with through the power of will and good choices.  I will be speaking about why the Rise of Femininity is an important part of this conversation.  I may end up sharing a lot 🙂  Click on the image to sign up – it’s free. 

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Last but not least! 

SOUTH AFRICANS – THIS IS FOR YOU!

Everyone else, I will be recording this!

I am partnering with the incredible Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, founder of the Shabbos project, Sinai Inaba, and so much more.  He has brought the office of the Chief Rabbi way out of mere political spheres and into the resurgence of Torah on the southern tip of Africa and worldwide.  He is preparing a message for women Jewry at the opening event.  We are serving breakfast, I am opening up my piano 🙂 and R’ Menussi is coming all the way from Israel to talk about the million dollar question… WHAT ABOUT THE MEN?  Where do they fit in all of this?  How do relationships change when women grow?  How do we guide this process that is taking place before our very eyes according to Torah?  

If you live in Joburg, please book HERE so we can cater for you.
  
PS. Ayala is making a camp for your kids while you come and enjoy!  Let her know you are bringing your kids by replying to this email. 

If you don’t live in SA, consider sponsoring the talks in the merit of a loved one to help me cover expenses.  Reply to this email. 

I think that is enough for now!  🙂

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Oh!  I forgot to tell you the sweetest part of the trip, the part that surprised me.

It wasn’t the brochos we got … though they are so precious to me.  It wasn’t Emuna day, though it was precious.  No, not even the Shabbaton.  Not the crash course.  Not even just walking on holy soil.  Or all the holy souls I met.

Did I mention that my baby wouldn’t go to sleep? Until past midnight every single night no matter what I would do?

I was stretched.

And then, at the end, I realized what was happening.  She needed my attention, which she obviously hadn’t gotten enough of while sharing me with older siblings (and with our household help! – but that’s another story!) in Johannesburg.  

Well, she got it in Israel.  And finally, it happened –  we attached.  BH.  Properly.  Just in time for her kiddish in honor of her birth happening this week if you are in Joburg.

Femininity, its not what you expect.  But it makes you smile!

Wishing you a beautiful week and elevated shabbos. 

Passing on whatever blessings I received from the Holy Land… 

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