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Shabbos Parshas Terumah

Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sissa

Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, Parshas Shekalim

1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5749

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Ta'anis Esther, 5749

Purim, 5749

Motzoei Shushan Purim, 5749

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Machne Israel Special Development Fund

Yechidus

Shabbos Parshas Shemini, Parshas Hachodesh

Shabbos Parshas Tazria

Shabbos Parshas Metzora, Shabbos Hagadol

Motzoei Shabbos, Parshas Metzora

Maamar Matzah Zu

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6th Day Of Pesach, 5749

Shevi'i Shel Pesach, 5749

Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749

Maamar Vehechrim

Shabbos Parshas Acharei

Yechidus

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2nd Day Of Iyar, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Emor

Shabbos Parshas Behar,

Eve Of Lag Baomer, 5749

Evening Following Lag Baomer, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Bechukosai

Address To The Women's Convention

   23rd Day Of Iyar, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 4th Day Of Sivan, 5749

1st Day Of Shavuos, 5749

2nd Day Of Shavuos, 5749

Yechidus Following Shavuos

12th Day Of Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 13th Of Sivan, 5749

Sichos In English
Volume 41

Address To The Women's Convention
23rd Day Of Iyar, 5749
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  22nd Day Of Iyar, 574929th Day Of Iyar, 5749  

1

This gathering is being held, as it is every year, in the days preceding the holiday of Shavuos, "the season of the giving of our Torah." However, just as we must view the Torah as "new" each day, so, too, each year, we must bring out a new lesson focusing on a different dimension -- and translate that lesson into practical action, for "deed is most essential."

This concept is related to the mitzvah of counting the Omer. On the surface, one might ask: Of what value is our counting of these days? They will pass whether we count them or not.

The answer is that it is human nature that when something is of no value, we neither count it or pay attention to it. However, if it is important and valuable, we constantly count and recount it. Similarly, these days, beginning from the day after we became a free nation, are important. Therefore, the Torah which shows us how to fill these days with light and energy, teaches us to add to their importance and value by counting them.

Furthermore, we do not only count the days as a whole, each individual day is counted and a blessing is recited before the counting. This is unusual. For example, when we recite the blessing, Shehechiyanu, over the purchase of a new garment, even though we appreciate the garment when we wear it in the days that follow, the blessing is only recited on the first occasion the garment is worn. In contrast, when counting the Omer, each day, a new blessing is recited.

One of the lessons that can be derived from this is: From a superficial perspective, the counting of the Omer appears to be one continuum, with one day no different from the next. However, G-d gave the Jews the knowledge to appreciate how each day is unique and must be lived with new energy. We can gain this energy through our connection with the Torah which is called the Torah of life and brings life and vitality to all aspects of our experience.

This is particularly relevant to the Jewish woman. Torah calls her akeres habayis -- a term which also means -- ikro shel bayis -- "the essence of the house." She creates the home environment, filling it with the spirit of Torah. G-d gives her special powers to accomplish this task. He is the Creator of the world and controls its destiny, i.e., He, and not the laws of nature, controls the world and directs it to its ultimate purpose, to become a dwelling place for Him. G-d has given the power to make the world a dwelling place for Him, to make each individual home, "a sanctuary in microcosm," to Jewish women.

When counting the days of the Omer, rather than state, "Today is the __th day of the Omer," we say "Today is __ days of the Omer." This implies that we include, not only the day we are counting, but also the previous days. This reinforces the lesson that "nothing is ever lost" and we have the potential to -- and Torah teaches that we should -- correct and perfect any service that was lacking in the previous weeks (or months or years).[100]

For example, if one previously participated in the construction of a Torah institution or a charitable organization, at present, one can review what one did and evaluate one's previous efforts. This will grant one the potential to add to those efforts and correct any lack that existed.[101] On the contrary, there is always special joy when one finds a lost object. Similarly, when correcting these "lost" opportunities, one should feel special joy. This joy will bring out greater powers of understanding which will increase one's success.

Another example, a teacher who educated children: The relationship that was established between them should be preserved. Even if they are now studying in a different place, one can still maintain ties with them and try to influence their behavior. Thus, if a teacher taught students about the laws of Kashrus, Taharas HaMishpochah, or lighting Shabbos candles and learned afterwards a new dimension of those laws, herself, she should try to impart this understanding to the students she previously taught.

She should explain that this is very important to the students' material and spiritual success because it strengthens their connection with G-d, the source for all blessing. It will add success in all matters including the spreading of Judaism and the affairs of one's home. It will bear fruit which will produce other fruit as in the metaphor, the fruits produced by one tree produce other trees and fruit for generations to come.[102]

To summarize: Each Jewish women and girl must work to see that her house is filled with light and holiness according to the directives of the Torah. G-d gives this potential to every Jewish woman. This is brought out by the mitzvah of lighting candles on Sabbath and Yom Tov. This mitzvah adds new light to the home -- therefore, on Yom Tov, the blessing, Shehechiyanu, is recited. Even though we do not necessarily perceive this -- because of the limitations of our bodies -- as new light, the Torah assures us that it is so. Similarly, the Torah assures us that we all possess a Jewish soul and thus, G-d dwells "among them," within each individual.

The gathering will be concluded by giving each person money to distribute to charity. This will increase G-d's blessings to the entire Jewish people wherever they are for whenever a Jew does a mitzvah, he brings added blessings to the Jews throughout the world. Through these activities, we will merit the Messianic redemption, the "new light which will shine on Zion." May it be now, immediately.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Translator's note: One of the themes of the Convention was "Accountability."

  2. (Back to text) This is also related to the pronouncement made at the conclusion of the public reading of a book of the Torah (for example, last Shabbos, the Book of Vayikra was completed): Chazak, Chazak, V'nischazeik -- "Be strong, be strong, and gather strength." This expression emphasizes how one must continually grow in strength.

  3. (Back to text) In this context, the Jews are called, "a desired land," i.e., a land on which trees and fruit can grow.


  22nd Day Of Iyar, 574929th Day Of Iyar, 5749  
  
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