Chabad Conference Initiatives: Rivkah's Tent

Chabad Conference Initiatives: Rivkah's Tent

by Dvora Lakein - Lubavitch Headquarters

February 15, 2009

( The Midrash in Bereishit Rabbah 60 speaks of the candles that burned and the challah that remained fresh from week to week in Sarah’s tent. These, and the cloud of glory that rested above, disappeared upon her passing. They were only to return when her daughter-in-law, Rivkah, arrived and married her son.

The tight-knit sisterhood of Chabad representatives (Shluchos) lost their sister, Rivkah Holtzberg, last November. The Jewish community lost a mother, counselor, and friend, when she and her husband, Gavriel, were murdered with four guests at their Mumbai Chabad House. Though Rivkah was many things to many people, her legacy revolves around the way she performed the three mitzvot inherent to the life of a Jewish woman: kosher, family purity, and the kindling of Shabbat and holiday lights.

A new initiative, unveiled during the International Conference of Chabad Shluchos in session this weekend, aims to promote these three mitzvoth among all Jewish women. Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky implored Rivkah’s colleagues to continue the sacred work that she can no longer perform at her home on Hormusji Street.

Together with the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Rabbi Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of the Lubavitch educational division, is in the midst of devising a new course for shluchos to teach the esoteric and practical aspects of these three commandments to women in their communities. The course guideline will consist of a text-based curriculum as well as a hands-on segment including how to make several types of challah. Organizers hope that this short series will morph into a monthly program, devised and delivered women to women.

The Divine clouds and accompanying miracles returned to Sarah’s tent upon Rivkah’s arrival. Every generation since then has turned to the family matriarch for comfort and support. Now, explains Rabbi Kotlarsky, Rivkah Holtzberg has passed the torch on. It is up to every shlucha to share it with the women in her community. Then, peace will return to Rivkah’s tent. 

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