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An Ode To Women

Thursday, 12 December, 2013 - 7:59 am

I can tell you, Fraida is better at raising children than I am! Women, in general, are referred to in Jewish thought as theAkeres Habayis, the mainstay of the home. A mother is usually more willing to make sacrifices on behalf of her children than a father.

We see this when Yaakov (Jacob) asks Yosef (Joseph) to bury him in Israel, in the place reserved for the burial of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs . Jacob says to Joseph, "If I have now found favor in your eyes, … do not bury me now in Egypt. …As for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel (Joseph’s mother) died to me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still a stretch of land to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”

Yaakov wanted to clarify to Joseph why he had buried Rachel in Bethlehem, instead of in the traditional burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs. He told Yosef that his mother was willing to make a spiritual sacrifice on behalf of her children. She sacrificed being buried in the Me'aras HaMachpela, in Hebron, for one reason. From this place, she could be supportive of her children in a special way that only she could accomplish. She was able to pray for the return of her children to the Holy Land.

Rashi comments that Rachel was “buried there by divine command, so that she would be of assistance to her children. When Nebuzaradan exiles them (the Israelites), and they pass by there, Rachel will emerge from her grave and weep and beg mercy for them, as it is said: “A voice is heard on high, [lamentation, bitter weeping, Rachel is weeping for her children]” (Jeremiah. 31:14). And the Holy One, blessed be He, answers her, “‘There is reward for your work,’ says the Lord,… ‘and the children shall return to their own border.’”

Men,take a moment and thank the women in your life for the spiritual sacrifices they make for you and for your children. Thank your mother, Thank your wife.

I want to thank all the women. Thank you for allowing us men to “be spiritual” in the ways that we can. We aren't as good at sacrificing our own spirituality for the greater good.

Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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