By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
Our sages tell us, “A man must love his wife at least as much as himself, but honor her more than himself.” “A man should eat and drink for himself, with less than his means allow him; should dress, according to his means; and should honor his wife and children ( with clothes and housing) with even more than what he can afford.” Rabbi Chelbo said, “A man should always treat his wife with respect, for blessing only enters his house on her account.”
According to the books of mysticism, the purpose why G-d created this physical world, is so that we, human beings, invite, introduce and infuse G-dliness into this material world. This is accomplished when we study G-ds wisdom in the Bible, and we fulfill G-ds wishes – Mitzvot, in the Bible.
When G-d decided the time had come to present this G-dly wisdom, the Ten Commandments to the Jewish nation, and give the world its mission, He instructed Moses to first talk to, the Women.
Women are obligated in the drinking of the four cups at the Holiday of Passover, because they too where liberated from slavery, and more so, “in the merit of the righteous women our forefathers where released from Egypt.”
The Talmud says that women are obligated in the lights of Chanukah, because not only did they personally as women, benefit from the miracle, the actual miracle came about through a woman. Yehudit, chopped off the head of the chief of war and thus the enemy was defeated.
The Holiday of Purim is coming up on the 14th of Adar. Here again we are told, women are obligated to hear the story of Purim, both at night and the next morning because, not only was the decree of the wicked Haman, against the women as it was against the men, the miracle for all the Jewish people was actualized through a woman, Esther.
As matter of fact, the entire story of Purim is named after a woman, the Megilah – story of Esther.
In mysticism it explains that the spiritual counterpart, the underlying energy, of the feminine gender is higher and deeper than even that of the male gender, and this explains, why the miracle of Purim happened through Esther, a woman.
One of the actual manifestations of this greater strength, is seen and expressed in the central role women, and a mother, plays on the direction of her home. In Judaism a woman is called the “main entity of the home.” She is the foundation and the path the home will take. She has the greatest influence on the home, primarily the influence on the children, which is the spiritual strength of the present generation and the foundation for the next generation.
In order to annul the decree of Haman to “annihilate all the Jews in one day”, Mordechai, the leader at that time, gathered 22,000 children to study the Torah. It was the innocence and purity in the voice and actions of the small children, that spiritually broke the negative energy of that time.
We read in the story of Passover – the Hagadah, in every generation there is a Haman. A physical Haman with a down to earth physical threat, and the negative spiritual energy of Haman, who challenges the survival of our people. This spiritual enemy is, the internal lack of enthusiasm and coldness towards living up to, and observing our duties and responsibilities as a people.
Only through the commitment of mothers and women, to bring up their children with an unadulterated and pure spiritual and Jewish education, we will overcome the spiritual challenges against our people. Once we are safe spiritually, mentally and internally, we are protected and safe physically.
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