A Time to Reflect, A Time to Pray, A Time to Rejoice, was the title of the latest Women in Unity event, covering all the themes of the month of Tishrei.
It was held at the new Yeshivah Multipurpose Centre’s Goldhirsch Hall. This regular community event that is organised by women and for women attracts women from all sectors of the community.
Women in Unity was inaugurated after the tragic murder of Gavriel and Rivkah Holzberg and seven other guests of the Chabad House in Mumbai in November 2008.
Rochel Blecher, the event’s compere, opened the evening by mentioning that in light of the week’s
parsha, Nitzavim, how appropriate it is that women are joining together in prayer, song and
inspirational words of Torah. The commentators mention that this refers to the Jews standing
together on Rosh Hashanah. When we stand together in unity our prayers are more likely to be
answered. She also elaborated on the distinction between a blessing and a prayer.
The talented Talya Blum and Tamar Rosenthal created the mood for reflection, prayer and joy with musical renditions appropriate to the festivals; among them “ Darkecha and Avinu Malkenu.
Beruria Tenenbaum, popular teacher and lecturer, spoke on the Elul and Rosh Hashanah theme of
reflection. Mrs. Tenenbaum elaborated on the idea that man was created on Rosh Hashanah, hence
Hashem was coronated for the first time. The Rebbe talks about how we can bring G-D into our lives
by emulating G-D’s acts at the time of creation of man. Just as G-D chose to create man, we have
free choice to do teshuva; just as G-D created the world with speech, we are the only creatures who
speak and can use our speech for the good and just as G-D showed kindness in taking care of the
needs of Adam and Chava, we are meant to look after others.
The principal of the girls Adass secondary school, Etty Spigelman enchanted the audience with a
story about the Bal Shem Tov and his student to highlight the crucial role prayer plays in
determining each of our lives’ circumstances. She also painted a crystal-clear picture of the Bet
Hamikdash to remind us of the sanctity of the Rosh Hashana shule experience. On Rosh Hashana we
do not call G-D King of the universe as we do on every other day during the year; on this day He is
our King because of His close proximity to us.
The final speech was presented by Adina Bankier Karp, well-known head teacher at Mt. Scopus. She
discussed Sukkot as a concept, rather than a Chag and explained why we commemorate the Jewish people’s journey in the desert directly after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
The Sukkah acts as a form of protection for the blessings we have brought down through our prayers during these holy days.
The evening finished with a raffle draw, with prizes ranging from barbecue chickens to exquisite tablecloths.
Over 150 ladies walked away from the function feeling inspired as they approached the upcoming season of Jewish holidays.