Parshas Chayei Sarah!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

This week I started learning with three of the cutest girlies. They are about 10 -11 years old and we study Tefillah and just about being Jewish. We started talking about the power of prayer and the gift each Jewish person has to have the ability to pray to G-d which then turned into: how do I know I am Jewish. I told them that Judiasm is based on Mesorah (heritage). I am a Jewish woman because my mother is Jewish and she passed that down to me and my children will be Jewish because of me! In the Parshah we see the importance of the Jewish mother and how much went into the search to find the next mother of the Jewish people after Sarah dies. Avraham sends his servant Eliezer on a mission to find Yitzchak a wife from his family. Through the help of G-d, Eliezer “happens” upon Rivkah and realizes that she is special. He brings her home with him to meet Yitzchak.

“Now Isaac was on his way, coming from Be’er Lachai Ro’i, and he dwelt in the land of the south. And Isaac went forth to pray in the field towards evening, and he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were approaching. And Rebecca lifted her eyes, and saw Isaac, and she let herself down from the camel. And she said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field towards us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” And she took the veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. And Isaac brought her to the tent of Sarah his mother, and he took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for [the loss of] his mother. ” (24: 62 – 67)

Radak explains that the “Torah” begins the narrative by saying that Isaac “happened” to meet Rebecca and Eliezer on the road, before they entered the city, just as Eliezer “happened” to encounter Rivkah at the well. Both meetings seemed to occur by chance, but in reality they were results of G-d’s Providential Will.

The brief passage describing the meeting and marriage of Yitzchak and Rivka is touching and reflective of basic principles of Judaism and Jewish marriage. It begins with Yitzchak walking back home from praying at a place that recalled G-d’s mercy to the previous generation ( Beer – lahai – roi), for Jews cleave to their past and the G-d who has guided them. Yitchak and Rivka “met”, but not by chance. She displayed the personal modesty that has been one of the glories of Jewish women and she intuitively recognized that the stranger she had just encountered was a holy person. Finally, Yitzchak brought her back to his mother’s tent, and there it became apparent that she was a fitting successor to Sarah, for the holy presence of Sarah returned to the tent of her son. (through the three signs) It was then that Yitchak loved her for the Jewish home is temple and its priestess is the wife and mother whose spirit infuses it. Isaac could love only a mate who could be his companion in creating the Chosen People. In Rivka he found her.

Have a beautiful and uplifting Shabbas! May every Jewish woman realize her importance as a Jewish priestess and the power she beholds to continue on the Jewish people! and May every Jewish man realize this to and only marry Jewish….

– Michal

 

My Jewish Mothers!

 
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PARSHAS VAYEIRA!!!

After a long week of traveling, I am back in Florida and so very thankful to wake up with the beautiful sun! Parshas Vayeira is long and there is so much to be written, but to pull out a short lesson…..
In this week’s Parshah, the three angels come to Avraham and tell him that after visiting him they are going to destroy Sedom. Avraham prays to save the city of Sedom on behalf of any of the good people who many live among the sinners. He begins a negotiation with G-d and asks even if there are 10 good people among the city that it should get saved, yet there was not even 10. R’ Moshe Feinstien asked why did Avraham plead so strenuously for the city of Sedom, a people who were so notorious for their wickedness?
Ordinary people preach kindness, but they become outraged and hate those who dispute their values. Avraham, on the other hand, cared only for the truth as defined by the Torah. He felt no animosity towards evildoers; he only wanted them to change for the better. Therefore he felt that if there was a nucleus of ten good people in the city, there was hope that they could influence others by teaching by example.
It was not about judging how bad the people of Sedom were, but that there was potential for change. Once he realized there was not even 10 influencers of good, he realized that he must stop fighting.
Have a beautiful Shabbas and May we, instead of judging others because they are different than us, have the ability to see their people’s potential.

Parshas Lech Lecha

October 11, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a while, but I am back! I love Parshas Lech Lecha. It is the story of Avraham, a trailblazer, a leader in his time and the father of many future nations (Av – Hamon – Goyim). Avraham is known for ability to pass the 10 tests in his life and also for his kindness and his outreach. This week the Jewish Nation lost one of the greatest Jewish Leaders of the past 50 years, Rav Ovadia Yosef was a brilliant Torah (Bible) and Halachic (Jewish Law) Scholar, Chief Sephardic Rabbi in Israel and he started his own political party. It is not just that the Sephardic world lost their Posek, but the whole Jewish world lost a leader and a trailblazer. This was shown by the over half a million people who came to his funeral.

The Parshah (Weekly Portion) starts out G-d appearing to Avraham and giving him the commandment and test of leaving behind his family and life in Charan to travel to an unknown land of which G-d will show him the way. I read an amazing Dvar Torah this week by Rabbi Jonathan Saks who explains this topic beautifully. Rabbi Saks says that what sets a true leader apart is his ability to not conform. Most people in the world do conform. G-d is saying “Leave your land” People adopt the standards and absorb the culture of the time and place in which they live. G-d deepens the test to “leave your birthplace”, people are influenced by friends and neighbors. To take it one step further, G-d says ”Leave your father’s house”  because more deeply people still they are shaped by their parents and the family in which they grew up.

God is saying here to Abraham, I want you to be different. Not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of starting something new: a religion that will not worship power and the symbols of power. I want you, said God, to “teach your children and your household afterward to follow the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.”

Abraham is without doubt the most influential person who ever lived. Today he is claimed as the spiritual ancestor of 2.4 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims and 13 million Jews, more than half the people alive today. Yet he ruled no empire, commanded no great army, performed no miracles and proclaimed no prophecy. He is the supreme example in all of history of influence without power.

Why? Because he was prepared to be different. As the sages say, he was called ha-ivri, “the Hebrew,” because “all the world was on one side (be-ever echad) and he was on the other.” Leadership, as every leader knows, can be lonely. Yet you continue to do what you have to do because you know that the majority is not always right and conventional wisdom is not always wise. Dead fish go with the flow. Live fish swim against the current.

Avraham instilled this quality into his future nations with his first test of Lech Lecha. He chose not to conform, but to follow his beliefs. This ability made him the father of the Jewish Nation. A nation that throughout the centuries have has survived no matter what.

Have a beautiful and uplifting Shabbas and May we always have the ability to like Avraham be true leaders and do what is right.

– Michal

ps. I am not saying that you have to leave your family to be a leader, ( because I love mine!)  but in order to lead you must do things because you know inside they are right, not just because everyone else around you tells you it is.

Hello World!

 

Hello World! My name is Michal and welcome to my blog.

Let’s start with some insight onto the name of this blog.

“Rebbetzin”  is a Yiddush word that can mean three things

1) A Rabbi’s wife

2) A Jewish woman who is very knowledgeable in Jewish law, philosophy and text. This woman is usually very holy and people go to her for insight and to learn from her wisdom.

3) An extremely religious woman…. super religious….

So I do not currently fit the bill for any of these translations as my husband is not a Rabbi, I am not as knowledgeable in Judaism as others and I am not EXTREMEly religious. That is where the work in progress part comes in. As I grow as a person and a Jew, maybe one day I will own the title. This blog is not just about my spiritual journey though – So here is a little more about me!

21 years ago I was brought into the world by my amazing parents. They are dreamers, believers, entrepreneurs and most of all DO-ERS! Seeing them in action inspires me to dream, believe in myself, explore the world around me and try and make the world a better place.  I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and moved to Miami when I was entering into my 11th grade High school year. I was surprised to find out that Miami and Cleveland are part of the same country being that they are world’s apart in culture and lifestyle. I am now a proud Miami girl although growing up in Cleveland made me who I am today. Moving to Miami brought sunshine and inspiration to my life as well as my other half, my husband, Daniel. We are expecting our first child this January and although I am in school and work – I am looking forward to this extra blessing in our life!

So back to being a “work in progress”: I am a growing and evolving person, professionally, academically, spiritually and “relationshiply.” This blog follows my journey of into navigating the world of business, Graduate School and motherhood (and having a life somewhere in between). My goal is offer some Jewish inspiration and share my personal experiences in today’s world! I hope you enjoy the ride!