It is almost exactly midnight on a hot summer’s day in Johannesburg and I hear the crackling and popping of fireworks in the sky around our house as the year turns 2021.
I am pinching myself. Was this just one year?? It is a vote in confidence that Hashem has in us to shower us with so much blessing – and on the backdrop of a year where the inner rumblings of change have become felt by all who walk the planet.
He has done this because clearly, we have a calling!
Like popcorn now, the fire-crackers outside my window are crescendoing – and the academic year has officially switched a digit.
I am so grateful for everything. For those of you that have been with me since inception and those of you who have just joined us, I am grateful.
So get ready – go! Here is the review.
The year started with the Siyum haShas. My husband, the Dirshu representative of South Africa, invited the South African community together with Nasi of Dirshu R’ Hofstadter, Chief Rabbi Goldstein and R’ Paysach Krohn to celebrate the grandeur of Torah. It was an awesome banquet. Little did we know that it would be the last social gathering for a while.
Since R’ Paysach Krohn was already “in town”, my husband and I collaborated and invited the women to a “Dirshu-Nexus” event focusing on a woman’s role in Torah. R’ Hofstadter connected me with Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel for their brochot which they gave. 🙂
(To hear “A Woman’s Share in Torah – the Three crowns of it” – click HERE.)
Wow. Though I was scheduled to take my almost-Bas-Mitzvah girl to Israel in March, Rochel Weiman invited me to join up with her and Devorah Yaffa Singer at Emunah Day. I decided to change my ticket and went in February. (Had we waited until March we would not have been able to make the trip.)
Here I am showing my daughter Ayala Esther my seminary BJJ and here is our 1 year-old traveling companion Bas-Sheva waiting for a taxi.
One of the highlights of the trip was when R’ Menussi and his wife afforded me the great privilege of meeting their Rebbe, R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg shlita. Silence has never felt so comfortable.
And then, just in time, I found myself participating in Emuna Day, a Torah gala-event of in-depth learning and inspiration hosted by Aish Hatorah just outside the Kosel. Hundreds of women came together to learn Torah after hearing R’ Yitzchak Berkowitz shlita open the program.
Connections… I guess as our world gets smaller, our hearts get bigger.
Pictured here is Rochel with whom I spent shabbos at the Embrace Shabbos Shabbaton that she prepared together with Liba Markson.
I find myself back in Johannesburg.
R’ Nir Menussi, author of “Who is this Rising”, flew into Johannesburg from Eretz Yisroel and together with Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, we “opened” the new academic year for Nexus 2020. You can watch the entire Opening Event for the Nexus School HERE, in your own time.
Hm… what was next?
Ah. On Rosh Chodesh Adar, we held a mini-chava session in my home to give more women a chance to taste these teachings. The mini-course was divided into 4 parts. You can watch the first part HERE.
Still in February, I extracted the highlights from the Chava mini-course for Shifra Chana Hendrie’s Global Geula Summit. I spoke about the side of femininity that no one else speaks about and why it is essential to understand this if we are to truly reach our potential. (Unfortunately I don’t have that recorded but you will get it all in the full Chava course, so stay tuned.)
What’s next? Oh… Purim!
Wow, what excitement we felt as we gathered again around my dining room table BH to study the book of Esther as the fundamental guide in the development of Jewish women in these later stages of history. It was sweet Torah and I will ask you to wait until Purim when I will let you know how you can watch it beH.
The world changed. Almost in a day. As I tried to make “sense” out of my reflections, I recorded my thoughts in my blog on www.thenexus.org.
After Pesach, my attention turned to understanding and writing about the Aishet Chayil – the woman of Torah perfection. Nexus produced an e-book (15,000 words!) – and we made it free. You can find it at the school or you can wait until Shavuot time and we will send it around again.
Despite lockdowns, up-side-down routines and mulit-tasking (which I’m not great at), the school moved onto Sarah.
Sarah built on Chava and took us into the realm of perfected relationships – and you didn’t have to be married to join. Our learning and transformation went to the next level BH. You can watch the short highlights video of Sarah HERE (but DON’T SIGN UP yet… we are redoing it LIVE beH this year. (If you do or have signed up you will be able to join the live round at no charge.)
(Here is a small quote from Sarah session 1:)
Around Tammuz time, author Baila Gitty Vorhand, graduate of the Chava course wrote about our community in the Mishpacha’s Family First. She did such a beautiful job at catching the passion and is definitely on mission with us. You can print and read it HERE.
Next was our free Tisha B’av event… then the Intimacy masterclass with Faige Pollack… followed by the Intimacy of Shema Masterclass.
And then…. THE SUMMIT!
Your feedback was INCREDIBLE. The energy was palpable. Bringing in Rosh Hashana like never before, Teshuva on a deeper level than ever before. BH the hearts of thousands of women around the globe pulsed together during 11 packed days of programming.
Then, just as the year came to a close, we gathered again around the deep wellsprings of the great women of Torah and studied Rivka. We came to love her and understand her, and delighted in the surprises and self-discoveries we had in the realm of prayer and life in general as a Jewish woman.
(This came with a bonus session called “Rivka’s Pitchers – Secrets to Redemption” based on the Arizal. You can find it HERE, free only for Rivka members. This was my deepest class yet and holds great secrets. But they are whispers and if you are not ready for them, you will not hear them – therefore it is necessary to build up to this class with the other foundational courses in the Rise! into your Feminine Series)
By now the fireworks have died down…. and tomorrow is Shabbos…
May Hashem continue to bless us, each one of us, to rise and shine in joy and become all that we can be – because great things are waiting. The world needs us.
It needs you, to be .. you.
Thank you to Hashem for all He has blessed our community with and all He continues to bless us with.
Thank you to each one of you for being here and for being you. You are a whole world that I anticipate getting to know one day.
Thank you to my husband and my children, my parents and grandparents, my friends, teachers and students.
We are on a dynamic unfolding of everything as it is meant to be. It is up to us to make the highest choices at each moment and rise into the fullness of our light… through Torah.
Stay tuned for the academic new year!!
All my love and wishing you a beautiful Shabbos Kodesh,
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