June 17, 2024
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Honoring the Women Who Came Before Us

In honor of International Women’s Day, women need not hide but shine. Back in the good old days, women were in their tents, tending to their families 24/7. They didn’t get out much and were not seen much. It wasn’t easy. They were superwomen.

The acceptable norms change as life circumstances occur.

Some generations later, women merited the Exodus of Egypt by making sure to look beautiful and attractive to the despondent men for a holy purpose—perhaps it was then that things started to change?

Fast forward to the 21st century. Women have been thrust into being a different kind of superwoman. Almost an unmanageable one, if you ask me. They are still in their tents, tending to their families. But they are also obligated to be in the field, at the office, on podiums, in front of large audiences and faced with the challenge of doing it in a modest way.

We must be attractive, but not attracting. Firm, but not mean. Gentle, but not a pushover. Happy, but not light-headed. Strong, but not forceful. (Good luck with that.)

If we were supposed to be behind a closed door, women principals should not be speaking to male audiences. God would not have made the cost of living in such a way that women need to work, giving presentations, doing kiruv or, for that matter, going to the bank or the supermarket or the shuk or on a bus.

Extremism has no end while balance in all life matters requires implementing the tools God gave us. We have both the sense and the choice of how to act, how to pose, how to maintain dignity and shine as women of valor in all life situations.

And shine we do.

In honor on International Women’s Day—I bring to you five absolutely beautiful women in the picture you see. These women are the foundations of my heritage. My grandmother and her four sisters. Beautiful women, from Turkey, who worked night and day to build their families, physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and from the heart. If I can mirror just a drop of their inner beauty, kind eyes, huge hearts whose generosity knows no bounds—there is no telling how far I’ll go. These five women were spread out throughout the world—New York City, New Jersey, Turkey, California and Israel. We need to know who we are and where we are going—all that starts with knowing where we came from.


Vicky Krief lives with her family in Edison.

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