April 20, 2024
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Rosh Chodesh Society Empowers Women

(Courtesy of Anshei Lubavitch) Several times a year, at Rosh Chodesh time, the women of the community’s Rosh Chodesh Society gather at Anshei Lubavitch for an evening of reflection and rejuvenation. Thoughtfully led by Rebbetzin Rivky Bergstein (who, in her spare time, is also a devoted Jewish Link copy editor), the Rosh Chodesh Society meetings give women a chance to connect with each other and reconnect with themselves by examining their lives through the lens of Torah.

“It’s one of the highlights of my month,” Dr. Michelle Mahler, an attendee, said. “I wouldn’t miss it!”

In the first lecture, titled “In Full Bloom,” the class examined the concept of our world as a garden. The analogy of the world as a garden begs the obvious question: Isn’t the world too bleak, too dark, and too difficult to be likened to a garden? The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, asserts that when we find ourselves unable to see the world as a garden, it is time for us to do some digging. Internal “digging” must begin with an in-depth examination of one’s approach to life, and how it can affect one’s overall happiness and satisfaction.

The women discussed various fictional scenarios and discussed what their own likely responses would be in each situation: How would you react if a competing business opened right next to your business? What would you do if your child was having trouble in school? The women analyzed their responses to determine where their natural approach to challenges falls along the spectrum between optimism and pessimism. Some people have a sunny outlook by nature, and others are born with a more calculating perspective. As our lives progress, our dispositions may change as we gain experience and insight.

Regardless of our natural or learned instincts, The Lubavitcher Rebbe suggests that an optimistic outlook is the best approach for a good life. Famous for his positive outlook, the Rebbe recommends that even those prone to a more negative perspective would be optimists if they could hone in on one key, crucial fact: everything that happens to us is good. The best thing that could possibly happen to us is precisely what has been ordained by Hashem.

Rebbitzen Bergstein used the metaphor of a person hypothetically encountering an elevator for the first time—without any idea of its purpose. The observer would be struck by many questions: What is this tiny, windowless room? Why does it have no furniture? Where is the doorknob? As soon as this uninformed person understands the purpose of the elevator, all the questions are answered with that simple explanation. The same premise can be applied to our own lives: Why did my basement flood? Why did I get fired? All the answers are elucidated by an understanding of one’s purpose in life. We are here not to have cloudless skies, constant ease, and perfect hair. Not everything is supposed to always go according to our plan. Our lives are orchestrated by Hashem’s plans, and he has put us here to create, cultivate, and spread goodness throughout the garden of the world.

At the beginning of each Jewish month, we have an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start fresh. This month, the members of the Rosh Chodesh Society walked into the month of Cheshvan with renewed confidence in the importance of their struggles, and in their ability to overcome them. They are prepared to tend their gardens and greet every challenge with optimism.

Ready for a fresh perspective? Join us at our Kislev event, Wednesday, December 4 at 7 p.m.

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