Chabad Activities For Eretz Yisrael
What Can A Woman Do?Shluchot Talk About Peace
WOMEN ON THE
BY DAFNA CHAIM
REBBETZIN SHTERNA DRUKMAN - Kiryat Mochkin
MRS. ROCHEL HENDEL - Shlucha in Tzfas
MRS. ESTHER PIEKARSKI - Shlucha in northern Tel Aviv
The sand is running out and the danger of expulsion looms ever closer.
What is required of us as women at a time like this?
The main focus of women must be in the spiritual arena, for this is our primary strength. We should be making emergency gatherings for women to address this topic at which time hachlatos should be made to increase in Torah, tefilla, and tzedakah.
Rallies for children should also be made. Children have awesome power to avert decrees. I think there should be a massive children's rally at the Kosel.
Reaction To The Yom Kippur War 1974
Before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, the Rebbe asked that gatherings of children be held so that the pesukim and Tehillim could be said with them.
In Eretz Yisroel, there were two large gatherings at the Kosel, one in Elul and the other during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva. At that time there was a great spiritual arousal among Lubavitchers.
Chassidim realized that something was afoot but they didn't know what it was.
It was only afterwards, after war broke out, that everybody realized that the Rebbe had sought to nullify the terrible decrees on Am Yisroel with the power of Jewish children. "From the mouths of babes and sucklings you founded strength to stop the enemy and avenger." With the breath of the schoolchildren, we can vanquish our enemies who rise up to destroy us, and we can nullify their evil designs against us.
Copying The Jewish Reaction To Yetzias Mitzrayim
Back at Yetzias Mitzrayim it was "in the merit of the righteous women that our ancestors were redeemed." And the children were the first to recognize G-d when they said, "This is my G-d and I will beautify Him." So too with the present Geula, the women and children need to lead the battle.
Mrs. Esther Piekarski
We must examine the types of possible activities.
There are askanim and Rabbanim whom the Rebbe picked to be involved in this and they are the ones who need to operate on the political front and who need to establish Chabad's policies.
They are also the ones who should be paving the way for the rest of Anash and the Temimim, showing them what to do and how.
As far as us women, the Rebbe said a number of things that pertain especially to women, and these are the areas to strengthen ourselves in. There are a number of things that I took upon myself and I think these are areas that should be emphasized.
The Power Of Tznius
First of all, the area of tznius - in a sicha to N'shei Chabad (5730 - 1970), the Rebbe spoke about the enormous power inherent in tznius, to the extent that it impacts on the security situation in Eretz Yisroel. Here is what the Rebbe said:
One of Hashem's blessings to the Jewish people, which are said at the end of the book of VaYikra is, "and
you will dwell securely in your land." This is a bracha that the Jewish people will dwell securely in Eretz Yisroel in a way of "and you will lie down and not fear," for even while sleeping there will be no need for guards because of the security "and no one will fear."
In other words, not only will nobody harm Yisroel, there won't even be anybody that will frighten them.
And this is because Hashem guards you... "and the Guardian of Israel does not slumber nor sleep." Furthermore, Hashem says, "and you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet." You will be able to sleep and relax because I am standing guard over you.
Therefore, tznius is necessary, as it says, "for Hashem your G-d walks within your camp," because "no
nakedness is visible among you."
When Hashem sees that among the Jewish people there is nothing contrary to tznius anywhere, then Hashem walks among them, "to save you and give your enemies before you." Thus, they do not have to do anything themselves in order to be saved, since Hashem Himself saves them.
All the enemies melt and submit before Am Yisroel. Ultimately, "when Hashem finds mans ways desirable, even his enemies make peace with him." "And I will give peace in the land," that the enemies themselves will become transformed and they will make peace and seek peace with Am Yisroel.
So if women truly want to do something to strengthen the security in Eretz Yisroel, they should strengthen tznius among us.
The Power of Tehillim
Second of all, saying Tehillim -
Another way to express our pain is by saying Tehillim. Tehillim has the power to annul decrees. The Rebbe Rashab once said that his success in askanus for the benefit of Am Yisroel was in large part thanks to the Tehillim his wife said. (Ed note: There is a similar same story attributed to the Tzemach Zedek's wife who used to mispronounce the words of her tehillim. One time one of her sons mentioned to her that she is mispronouncing the words of Tehillim, which made her very upset. The Tzemach Zedek made him apologize saying that "It was the power of her Tehillim which helped me in Peterburg".)
If women gather once a week and complete the entire Tehillim together, this would be a tremendous accomplishment. If this is not convenient for some women, then just adding one chapter of Tehillim a day can certainly help.
Here in Tel Aviv we meet every Monday at 4:30 in the afternoon to say the entire Tehillim together. When we
are finished, I teach a portion from a sicha on shleimus haaretz.
Rebbetzin Shterna Drukman
I think women can do their share in this battle in a number of ways that suit Women.
Gatherings Of Women On Shleimus Haaretz
There should be gatherings of women in which the main topic is shleimus haaretz. This week, for example, we had a gathering like this in Gush Katif, and women came from all over the country (a similar gathering took place in Tzfas). There should be more and more such gatherings. The more shleimus haaretz is spoken about, the more it heightens awareness and makes people care.
The topic of the gathering does not have to be shleimus haaretz, but of course, the topic should be a prominent part of the program.
Invite Lecturers To Speak On The Rebbe's Ideas About Peace
Lecturers who are familiar with the topic should be brought to speak.
Similarly, within the existing shiurim, the opportunity should be taken to raise the topic of shleimus haaretz.
Those who make house calls or go on mivtzaim can distribute stickers and brochures on shleimus haaretz.
I also call upon women to do more davening and say Tehillim. Whoever can organize her friends and neighbors
to say the entire Tehillim together is making a valuable contribution.
Should Women Be Directly In The Fight?
Are there other ways that are more effective?
Beis Moshiach: Still and all, women want to take action that is directly connected to the fight!
Mrs. Hendel: There is a sicha the Rebbe said on Purim, in which the Rebbe describes what Mordechai did when he heard about the decree against the Jews. Mordechai did not go to lobby at the palace even though he was a respected figure there. Mordechai put on sackcloth and ashes and went to teach the Jewish children Torah. This is the approach we must
Mrs. Piekarski: People think that "doing something" means going out to the highways and giving out brochures. Actually doing something means making an actual hachlata, for example, regarding tznius.
When a woman stands in front of her closet in the morning and says she won't wear a certain blouse anymore, and another item needs the sleeves or hem lengthened because the situation in Eretz Yisroel bothers her - this is actively doing something! And this is the Rebbe's chiddush.
In my opinion, doing this is far more powerful than standing at junctions, and it pertains to us wherever we are, not only in Eretz Yisroel. Study what the Rebbe said (which I quoted earlier), that by guarding the kedusha of the camp we are bringing the Shechina (Divine Presence) down upon us -
What greater protection could we have than that?
Affecting Public Opinion
Public opinion makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, there is still a majority of the country in favor of the Disengagement, though the gap is narrowing. As women who lecture a lot and come in contact with all sorts of people, how do you convince those who support the Disengagement plan to change their minds?
Mrs. Hendel: We must try to rouse public opinion against the Disengagement. Just as the government is trying its best to brainwash the public in favor of the plan, we have to do what we can to counter this, by distributing material and by talking to people. We must quote the Rebbe. The Rebbe spoke strongly against returning land and what the Rebbe says is true now and forever!
The Rebbe wasn't afraid of anybody, and he expressed his clear view on shleimus haaretz. As Chassidim, we must follow the Rebbe's lead. We have nothing to be ashamed about, and we mustn't stammer and sound confused!
There are three concepts that require shleimus: Eretz Yisroel shleima, teshuva shleima, and refua shleima. Just as a partial recovery or partial t'shuva is not good enough, so too, we cannot accept only part of Eretz Yisroel!
Rebbetzin Drukman: I would divide the topic of how to explain it into three central points.
1) Shleimus haaretz,
2) The anguish of the families who are threatened by expulsion and creating a feeling of empathy with them
3) Pikuach nefesh - that this plan is really "life or death". It endangers all residents of Eretz Yisroel, and not just those living in Gush Katif and northern Shomron.
Mrs. Piekarski: Every woman who gives shiurim or a shlucha who comes in contact with people should take the opportunity to convey the Rebbe's message about shleimus haaretz. As a speaker, I speak to women all over the country. I always dedicate the first five minutes of my speech to the situation in Eretz Yisroel. Most of the time I teach the halacha in Shulchan Aruch, siman 329 of Hilchos Shabbos, which says not to open the land up before the goyim. This is so even if they come in peace, all the more so if they are our enemies!
Sometimes I quote from the book "Karati V'Ein Oneh", where the Rebbe says that nobody is a balabus over Eretz Yisroel and therefore nobody has the right to return its land.
It all depends on my audience. If they are not yet religious then I quote what the Rebbe said on the pasuk, "and I will lead you upright�" Chazal explain "upright" to mean standing tall. The Rebbe says, "Even when still in Galus, it [the state of Galus] does not adversely affect our enthusiasm in doing Torah and mitzvos and it doesn't cause the Jewish people, chalila, to want to hide their Judaism.
On the contrary, the Galus influences and strengthens our fulfillment of mitzvos."
From my personal experience I see that when we come with the strength of Torah and halacha, it makes an impact, and I speak to all sorts of women, religious, chareidi, and not yet religious.
As soon as we explain that this affects the lives of those who live in Tel Aviv, for this process endangers everybody in the land and it is literally a situation of pikuach nefesh, there is a chance that we can change their opinion. This is not a battle for those living in Gush Katif alone, but a battle for all of us.
Orange? Or No-
What about protesting in orange?
This is a quiet, non-violent protest that has succeeded in rousing a lot of people, from all walks of life, and getting them to identify with the cause. Should women and girls take part in this kind of protesting?
Mrs. Piekarski: Orange is a color that draws attention and a woman should not draw attention to herself.
It's not befitting for a bas Chabad. In my opinion, it's not proper for a Lubavitcher girl to put an orange ribbon anywhere on her body, and not even on her bag, and she certainly should not wear an orange shirt.
I should point out that my objection is from the tznius aspect, and not because I object to orange as a symbol of the fight. If you can express yourself without violating the principles of tznius, then go ahead!
Standing Out In Our Tznius
The Rebbe says something very interesting in connection to tznius.
Generally speaking, the idea of Tznius is not to stand out. How should Jewish women stand out? In their tznius! This is what the Rebbe says:
"This is especially important for N'shei U'Bnos Yisroel, that the difference in their outer dress as compared to that of the gentiles should stand out with their being careful about wearing modest, Jewish clothing as is fitting for a Bas Yisroel, who conducts herself as the Imahos (the four mothers): Sara, Rivka, Rochel, and Leah."
Jewish women ought to stand out in their tznius.
Orange Not For A Woman But Okay For Other Things
Rebbetzin Drukman: A woman should not have orange on her, that's obvious. It attracts attention and is not
appropriate, but it's certainly okay to put an orange ribbon on your car. It creates an atmosphere in the street and raises public consciousness on a steady basis. It makes a tremendous impact.
People see it wherever they go and talk about it and think about it.
Woman And Demonstrations
Beis Moshiach: What about demonstrations?
Rebbetzin Drukman: Regarding demonstrations, you have to ask the rabbanim and do as they say. In general, my husband is not in favor of women participating in demonstrations, but there was one demonstration a few months ago that took place in Tel Aviv and I went. It was a demonstration al taharas hakodesh with separate areas for men and women. Many distinguished rabbanim were there. The entire program was al taharas hakodesh.
Tehillim was recited, shofaros were blown, and all in all, it was very moving.
Mrs. Piekarski: It's important to note that when rabbanim tell Anash to participate in a demonstration, they are usually not referring to women.
Mrs. Hendel: Demonstrations are not for women. To the best of my knowledge, the Rebbe did not encourage women to participate in demonstrations. Women can travel to Gush Katif as individuals or as part of groups. This is very important. The residents themselves say that when people visit them it encourages them very much. You can also express your support by contributing money and writing letters of support to the residents.
Other Ways To Protest Besides Demonstrations?
There are many ways to protest that can be even more effective than a demonstration.
A demonstration is a one time thing. Everyone gets excited; the event gets some press and the next day then what? The point is to take that rah-rah energy, go home and use it to do more activities!
Classes, shiurim, events, speakers, study groups, publishing material. Weekly or monthly activities that build awareness of the great danger involved and that there is no need for Israel to give land to achieve peace.
Each person according to ones talents may actually have powers of persuasive discussion, artistic or writing abilities that will bring the Rebbe's message of peace to many more people than to a few people on the street.
In conclusion, we pray that we merit to see how this is a "land with Hashem your G-d's eyes upon it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year," the complete land, together with Moshiach.
Reprinted from Beis Moshiach
Page 16 | WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINES
Shleimus HaAretz / Dafna Chaim