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The Spiritual Existence of the Jewish Woman, by Rebbetzin Brandwein

Published on Wednesday May 29th, 2019

Rebbetzin Dina Brandwein, the Admour of Stratyn’s wife, is famous in the Jewish world for her tireless actions amongst the feminine public. Experienced in training women for marriage, she gives over her thoughts on the immeasurable merits of the Jewish woman.

“More than once, I hear women complain about the fact that they’re not leading a spiritual existence as their husbands do. In their opinion, their daily life is dictated by work, raising children, managing the house and other utilities, while their husbands have the great joy to learn Torah and to elevate themselves spiritually”, she explains.

“While I understand their feelings, I attempt to explain to them that they are unfounded. The place that the Torah gives to women is a privileged one. The proof is that every morning we recite the blessing: “Blessed are you G-d...Who made me according to His will!” Is there a greater compliment than having been molded according to G-d’s desire?”, she asks… She adds: “The strength of the Jewish woman is immeasurable. She can build her household and give birth to generations of Jews faithful to Torah, just like she can, with an impulsive action, destroy everything with her hands.

When asked the question what a woman can do to get closer to Hashem in her daily life, the Rebbetzin answers without hesitating: “She must strengthen herself in the fulfillment of the three specific Mitzvot pertaining to women: Shabbat candle lighting, taking a piece of Challa, and the respect of family purity”.


Candle Lighting, or Making the Hidden Light Shine


“When Adam and Chava were created, an intense light pertaining to the spiritual realm dominated the world. With the original sin, this spiritual light disappeared from the material world; Hashem kept it to reveal it again when Mashiach would come. Yet, there are moments where we have the opportunity to make this hidden light shine in our households: when Shabbat comes in when the Jewish woman lights candles.  You will also notice that when you step into a Jewish home on Friday night, a strange feeling of comfort and peace overwhelm you, like an invisible light… This is the power of Shabbat candles, which bring peace, calmness, and harmony in our households. This is also an auspicious time to pray for health, success, but especially for our Shalom Bayit and educating children.”

When we ask her how to bring in Shabbat with calm and not in a rush, the Rebbetzin suggests: “Indeed, the Yetzer Hara of anger was created on Friday night, close to the beginning of Shabbat. This explains the great tension which resides in your household at this very moment. Knowing one’s opponent is already a first step towards victory.  We must prepare ourselves mentally to fight anger which arises at this critical moment. Moreover, if we know how to organize ourselves from the beginning of the week, we wouldn’t find ourselves distraught once Friday has arrived. Another advice: knowing at times how to review our expectations downward. Even if not everything is perfect once Shabbat has arrived, let’s keep in mind that, what counts is that the family is gathered and that all can be seated at the Shabbat table in a pleasant and warm atmosphere.”


Separating Challah and Repairing the World


“Everyone eats bread and can prepare some. This seems like a very futile act. Yet, introducing a spiritual dimension to this basic food is a privilege that only Jewish woman preparing Challa can enjoy. The first man of history, Adam, was called “the Challa of the world”, which means the elite of Creation. Similar to the Challa we make, he too was created from elements that were mixed together, earth mixed with water. Because he was pushed to sin by his wife, the latter was given the duty to repair her act through separating Challah.

This is a very powerful moment, auspicious for Tefila. This is why so many public events dedicated to separating Challah are organized in the past years. The miracles experienced by women who attended those events are countless. It is time to ask Hashem to make blessings reside in our households, to give strength to the members of the family to accomplish the duties they are responsible for, and to lead them on the path of Torah.  The minimum quantity of flower to use to separate Challah with a blessing is of 1,650 kg. Those for whom it represents too great of an amount of bread can separate Challa once or twice a month and freeze the remaining dough or the already cooked Challot for the following Shabbatot. Bread and dough alike can easily be preserved. If you have the opportunity to offer your remaining Challot to your surroundings, it’s even better”, she says with a smile.


Repairing Oneself and Giving Life


“The mitzvah of going to the Mikvah is also directly linked to the original sin. Because she brought death into the world, Chava had to herself experience a kind of death every month, for she was not able to exploit the life potential that resided within her. But in truth, this is not a punishment; in His great kindness, G-d gave the woman an opportunity to repair each month her sin by giving her a priceless gift! It is a time for the woman to safeguard the honor that she merits. By respecting the laws of family purity, she is similar to a princess in her palace.  By protecting herself from venereal diseases, by giving her body a break, and by maintaining passion in her couple, the Mitzvot of family purity is of the utmost importance. They protect the man and woman alike against attacks threatening the stability of their relationship and they bring an atmosphere of holiness within the household”, concludes Rebbetzin Brandwein.

May we merit to accomplish scrupulously these specific woman laws and thus bring serenity, purity, joy, and harmony in hour houses, Amen!

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box Account

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