Builder of Her Home: The Value of Faithfulness #4 Part II

4 06 2012

Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

The verse in Tehilim states, “Kol kevuda bat melech pnima.” The honor of the king’s daughter is within. One of the names of the soul is kavod. A woman’s kavod, her true essence, is her home.

The Gemara says, “Nothing is missing in the king’s house.” When a woman has a deep need, the possibility of receiving what she is lacking is there, by turning towards her husband and touching his desire to give. This will bring down bounty from Hashem.

In Tehilim it says, “Shimi bat u’ri v’hati ozneich.” Listen daughter and see, incline your ears. The Alshich explains that a woman’s soul stands before Hashem in heaven and He shows her the light and happiness that could be hers when she finds her mate. Hashem then tells her two things. She must look at her husband and regard him as a king, and incline her ear and listen to what he says. Her goal should be to fulfill his will and desires. She must forget the expectations she developed from observing her parental home. She’s living a new chapter in her life. What she must receive from her husband is different than what her mother had to receive from her father.

Secure children are nurtured in a home where both parents turn towards Hashem and towards each other. A woman feels inner tranquility when she knows her husband cares about her needs. A husband feels at peace when he sees that what he gives is desired and appreciated and is used to build.

This kind of relationship is impossible unless the woman has emunah (faith) in Hashem. The Shechina is ultimately who she turns to. A husband is who he is. If she realizes he is giving what he can, and that she has to ask Hashem to give him more to give her, then everything is different. She doesn’t have to struggle. She should give her husband permission to do that. Her job is to be vulnerable and to ask and this will bring down blessing.

The key element that makes us Jews is our faithfulness to Hashem, our turning only towards Him and not to other forces. We are called bnei brit, the children of the covenant. There is no end to our trust in our ability to receive from Hashem and this power to be faithful comes through the woman.

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In the Merit of Righteous Women: Rachel & Leah #7

4 11 2011
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller 

Rachel and Leah When Yaakov met Rachel coming with the sheep, he immediately recognized her as his bashert-predestined mate. How did he know this? What does bashert really mean?

 

Yaakov was a prophet. He signified emet, which is the ability to perceive something completely – including one’s own place in the larger picture. Yaakov was tiferet, a combination of chesed and gevurah, inspiration and challenge. The perfect mate for tiferet is malchut, taking the vision and making it happen. Malchut means achieving absolute control over oneself and then surrendering that control to something higher. Yaakov saw malchut in Rachel.

 

The Zohar says that Rachel was beautiful but she had no eyes. Rachel wasn’t a visionary. She didn’t live with perceiving the bigger picture from afar. She lived in the here and now and this is what Yaakov saw in her. He needed someone to take his vision and ground it in reality.

 

Hashem gives everyone a mission in life, but it’s difficult to accomplish it alone. He gives us a helpmate to help us reach our destiny but how do we know who our mate really is? The Gemara says one’s first mate is the one who was divinely ordained and one’s second mate goes according to merit. The Malbim explains that the first mate is the bonding of the soul to the body.

 

The person you marry depends on your merits. Every soul has a mission that is applicable to it on many levels. Nefesh is the part of the soul experienced through the body; ruach is the choosing self; and neshama embodies our spiritual uniqueness. A person will encounter his highest zivug according to his merit. Many of us are barely on speaking terms with our neshama. We don’t know ourselves at all. Our zivug will not be with our neshama but rather with our nefesh or ruach.

 

Yaakov recognized Rachel as his absolute zivug. He kissed her and wept. The kiss was not a kiss of desire. He cried because he had a flash of prophetic insight that told him he wouldn’t be buried with her. Nobody thinks of death and desire at the same time. He was in love with her righteousness and part of her righteousness entailed that she wouldn’t be buried with him. She was destined to be interred at the crossroads. Being a doer, uplifting physicality, means you have to address yourself to the world and not hide in a cave.

 

Leah’s eyes were weak from weeping. Unlike Rachel she didn’t live in the moment but rather in the future. She was projective. Leah had great spiritual capacity and could have turned Esav around. But she didn’t want him. He could give her nothing that she desired and she therefore wept for the fate that awaited her. Leah’s middah was binah, insight. Yaakov needed action, not insight, and therefore Lavan gave him Leah so that he would fail in his mission. For Yaakov it seemed like a disaster. For Leah, however, it was the fulfillment of her deepest prayers.

 

Rachel saw Leah just as herself, a woman no less divine than her, who wanted just what she desired. She could not let her suffer humiliation. She sacrificed her entire future to save her sister from shame. Her act took only a moment, but it changed the course of history. The power of redemption is in her merit.

 

Why didn’t Yaakov leave Leah after discovering Lavan’s deception? We believe that all marriages are predestined. If Hashem blesses a marriage with a child, it means the couple is meant to be bonded. However the Torah does permit divorce because people can choose themselves out of a good marriage. Divorce can be a matter of a bad choice. In marriage there has to be a basic premise of honesty between the couple. If it is based on false premises, it’s not a valid pact. Nonetheless, Yaakov’s depth was such that he wouldn’t divorce the mother of his child.

 

In truth it wasn’t a mekach ta’ut (a mistaken pact). The tribes with their caliber had to come from Leah. And Yaakov, the personification of emet had to be married to the wrong woman in order to develop himself. He needed both Rachel and Leah because in a certain sense it was as though he was two people, Yaakov and Yisrael. At this juncture in his life he was still Yaakov, the heel touching the floor, he wasn’t at his highest most developed state. Yet eventually he became Yisrael, the one in whom Hashem would prevail.





Tree of Life: Torah-Connecting the World To Hashem

27 10 2011
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

Tree of Life: Torah-Connecting the World To Hashem #15 The Rambam writes that the word tov (good) implies three things: pleasure, efficiency, and spiritually good things. Hashem created pleasure and efficiency so that we might pierce the external layer of physicality and focus on its core. The fragrant aroma, taste, and texture of iced coffee arouse a person to wonder who created it. The speed and efficiency of a shiny new car sensitizes its owner to the harmony and beauty inherent in this world. This is called berurim, making selections. Chitzoniyut (external) is supposed to lead us to penimiyut (the internal).

 

Torah gives us the key to joining chitzoniyut with penimiyut. The word tov is first mentioned in the Torah in the story of creation, “Vayar Elokim et ha’or ki tov.Hashem saw that the light was good.” The ability to perceive things with spiritual vision, with the light of the first day, is what goodness is about. This is what is meant by the midrashic statement, “Ein tov ela Torah. There is no good other than Torah.” The entire creation was good, but its light could only shine forth through Torah.

 

The Torah mentions “ki tov” six times. The letter vav, the numerical value of six, symbolizes a hook, which connects two separate items. Torah connects this world, chitzoniyut, with its source above. Six times tov equals the numerical value of emunah, faith. The prophet Chavakuk encapsulated the Torah in one point, “Tzaddik b’emunato yichye.” The tzaddik lives by his faith. All of the Torah and all of creation depend on this mitzvah. Emunah is looking at the finished product and seeing the hand of the craftsman.

 

The opposite of Torah is falsehood. A recurrent phrase in Mishlei is isha zarah, the disloyal wife, which symbolizes external wisdom. External wisdom symbolizes an approach to wisdom rather than a particular body of knowledge. It means looking at the world and seeing its beauty and intricacy without going further to its source. Chochma chitzonit (external wisdom) is false because Hashem is not in the picture. A lie is something that is incomplete. The chochmah (wisdom) of Torah, which by definition connects separate items, is the strongest aspect of emunah. Emunah endures forever.

 

So should we avoid chochma chitzonit completely? The Gemara gives us an enormous amount of information about the world’s physical reality. Our own personal observations give us more. The first approach says find out what you need in order to navigate the world but don’t dig further because it can corrupt your inner process of searching. Hence, the Baal Hatanya teaches that external wisdom causes a person’s inner search for knowledge to become impure. It doesn’t take a person to Hashem, it takes him further away. The second view questions how one can see the inside of something if one doesn’t study the outside. The proponents of this view say, the more you study the world, the more you can discern its Master. Both views can be reconciled, provided that we view the external as a means to reaching the internal, not as an end in itself.

 

Torah is the tavlin (spice) of the evil inclination. Why is it called a spice and not an opponent? The function of a spice is to enhance the flavor of a dish. We have the capacity to extract the good from within the yetzer hara by conquering it. The act of saying no to something forbidden is an act of vanquishing evil. Another way to engage the yetzer hara is by turning evil into good. There are people with tendencies that can potentially take them away from Hashem, but if used correctly can help them grow. Here too, evil becomes good. If not for the evil inclination, people would be like angels, they’d behave properly because their nature forced them to do so.

Torah and mitzvot teach us how to elevate our evil inclination for a higher purpose. Therefore, it is a spice and not an opponent, because it sweetens that which is bitter. The light of the Torah takes a person back to Hashem. It’s a hook that reveals His holy presence.

 

The yetzer hara is like a lion in ambush. It seduces us by convincing us that our sins are permitted. In the beginning, the yetzer hara tastes sweet but it ultimately leads to spiritual death. The yetzer hara cannot work on a person unless he’s empty of Torah. It is called a lion because its source comes from gevurah, power. It tells us that we’re lacking unless we follow its dictates. To overcome this, give yourself permission to feel just like a lion. Tell yourself, “I’m a person who does what I want, I’m not someone doomed to react and I’ve made the decision to overcome the evil within me.” Fight the yetzer hara with its own weapon. Gird yourself like a lion and arm yourself with Torah. With Hashem’s help you’ll emerge the victor.





‘I just want to really commend the Naaleh website on a job well done!’

18 05 2009

I just want to really commend the Naaleh website on a job well done! I’ve heard about the site for a while but never actually gave it a try. I am between jobs now so I have more time for myself and decided to watch some shiurim. I found it so easy to do and it really makes a shiur more enjoyable to actually see the teacher and not just have it as an audio. The teachers are amazing and it brings back nice memories to be able to watch a teacher I had from seminary deliver a shiur. Thank you for offerring this terrific service.

Rebecca R.   New York, NY





‘A Wonderful Service’

21 04 2009

I found your site last night while searching the words Geula and women. It is a wonderful service. I have been out of school many years and I often miss the opportunity to learn more. I frequently tell my daughters how lucky they are that they are learning every day. There are no regular local shiurim that I can attend. I look forward to being able to learn at my convenience.

– T.R.  Monsey, NY





The Passover Newsletter Edition is Here!!

6 04 2009

Take a break from cleaning and enjoy a nice cup of tea and some Passover Torah inspiration from our teachers.

Enjoy and may you and your family have a Chag Kasher V’Sameach, a happy and healthy Passover!

Passover Edition





Index for Rebbetzin’s Heller’s ‘Achieving Balance’

6 03 2009

Achieving Balance‘  Index

CLASS #1
1. Davening in public e.g. Dr.’s office
2. Advice on house management
3. Family vs. Smachot
4. Busy mother/ how much chessed?
5. Welcoming In-laws
6. Personal prayer vs. family obligations
7. Self improvement without husbands support
8. Psak Halacha to a friend
9. Covering hair while reciting a bracha
10. Role change as husband leaves full time learning
11. Guilt about having material posesions
12. Conversations with children at bed time
13. Anger affecting Avodas HaShem

CLASS #2
1.    Covering hair around women
2.    Problem attending Shul on Shabbos
3.    Attractive vs. Attracting in dress
4.    Encouraging independence and responsiblity in children
5.    Meaning in serving G-d through Torah vs. Eastern Healing
6.    Problem with “required support” in shidduchim
7.    Family centrality
8.    Feeling love in dealing with children
9.    Domestic work vs. outside employment
10.    Husbands lack of relationship with a Rav
11.    Guilt over husband/wife roles
12.    Busy mother-sad/angry over feeling unsuccessful
13.    Overwhelmed with many life changes
14.    Switching modes at home and work
15.    Pressure to have large families

CLASS #3
1. Mother of young children with many opportunities to help community
2. Tzniut in dress and conduct – how does it work?
3. Candle lighting in the 18 minutes
4. View on Torah learning before and after marriage
5. Trusting G-d vs. Personal Responsibility
6. Negativity in home because of husband’s lack of parnassah
7. Opening new school for girls
8. Davening Mincha after marriage
9. Motivate husband toward growth
10. Proper chinuch for children while davening
11. Increase Kavanah in Tefillah

CLASS #4
1. First year unable to attend shul for Rosh Hashana
2. Secular literature
3. Feel like a failure
4. Adapting lessons from the sages into our lives
5. Videoing girls school productions
6. What should I read?
7. Kosher movies?
8. Can’t stand most Jewish music
9. Giving up on books, music, and entertainment
10. Lack of Jewish entertainment due to stifling creativity?
11. Covering hair- special for husband
12. Building on husbands contribution
13. Using the internet
14. Responsibility of health and safety for us and our children
15. Parameters of cooking a Shabbos meal

CLASS #5
1. Husband in Yeshiva willing to come home and help
2. “Jetlagged” mom
3. Daughters friends seem to be superficial
4. Teaching children the meaning of prayers
5. Video- man who died and came back
6. Developing empathy

CLASS #6
1. I can’t daven in public
2. Eating disorder
3. Roommate troubles
4. Obligation toward old friendships
5. Married children for Shabbos
6. Suffering from wrong done to me

CLASS #7
1. Physical is fleeting
2. Modern Hebrew
3. Priorities in tznius
4. Being a safe place for children
5. ADHD
6. Shaitels – still ok?
7. Respectful tznius
8. Overweight people in the Jewish world
9. Middos in the Frum world
10. Teaching students/children truth
11. Mother/teacher – Questions on G-d

CLASS #8
1. Complaining
2. Child in troubled family situation
3. Dealing with alternative lifestyles
4. Wedding plans
5. Feeling alone at Shabbos and Yom Tov

CLASS #9
1. Eretz Yisroel vs. Chutz L’Aretz
2. Developing talents in areas of music, art, etc.
3. Teaching children consideration
4. Simchas Torah for women
5. Womens need to express
6. Teaching children tolerance and respect
7. Changing childrens incorrect judgements
8. Teaching children to avoid abuse
9. Husbands lack of dedication to Torah

CLASS #10
1. Answering tough questions about Judaism
2. Goodness among non-Jews
3. Parenting as immigrants
4. Dealing with people
5. Raising Jewish daughters 1
6. Raising Jewish daughters 2

CLASS #11
1. Dealing with failure
2. Teaching children to be happy with their possessions
3. Role of women
4. Teaches kids not to complain
5. Can you recommend sefer to help me control my eating?
6. Question on righteous women class
7 .Trust Hashem instead of people
8. How can one enhance bitachon when they don’t have a solid family       foundation?
9 .How do I know when to go to a Rav for advice?
10. How do we fulfill being a light onto the nations?
11. Struggling to live with Mumbai Terror
12. Genuinely anticipating Moshiach
13. Role of leisure in Judaism
14. Building by building in depression

CLASS #12
1. Balancing many important goals
2. Laxity in hair covering in previous generations
3. Applying medrashim to my life
4. Lonely marriage
5. Physical beauty in Judaism
6. Husbands talking in shul
7. Guidelines for questions in Shidduchim
8. Encouraging husband to value family time more
9. Son just wants to have fun
10. Movies at friend’s house
11. Encouraging husband’s ruchnius
12. Using illness to connect to HaShem
13. Childlessness
14. Parents not liable for damage caused by children

CLASS #13
1. Guidance on current events in Israel
2. I don’t have friends
3. Feeling Shabbos #1
4. Feeling Shabbos #2
5. Marital advice
6. Rely only on HaShem
7. Vatranut
8. Troubled youth #1
9. Troubled youth #2
10. Sons lack of Derech Eretz in Limudei Chol
11. Loshon Hora problem

Class #14

•    Miraculous effect of giving Tzedakka
•    Ambivalence to husband teaching in Kiruv setting
•    Increasing achdus
•    “Its not my problem” attitude
•    Judaism on friendship
•    Difficult family situations
•    Appropriate response to unsolicited advice
•    Correcting misimpressions
•    Appropriate corrections
•    Response to judgements
•    Discussing family
•    Cosmetic surgeries
•    Difference in opinion
•    Should I wait to have children?

Class #15

•    Positive influence for religion
•    Loshon Hora among women
•    Mood altering and attention controlling medications
•    Issues with covering hair
•    Confidence in starting a family
•    Mesorah
•    Tzedaka and family
•    Involvement in specific tzedaka
•    Spiritual decline
•    Mother critical of religious steps