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Women's Corner

When Times are Difficult

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe
Friday, July 25, 2014/Tammuz 27, 5774

The Jewish people are going through difficult times now. It is precisely during such times that our nation manifests its strength, morality and courage. Perhaps at times like this we can comprehend why the Jewish people are likened to an olive tree. Our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that just as olives produce their oil as a result of pressing, so too the Jewish people repent when they are knocked and go through periods of suffering. We may perhaps expound on this to say that all the good, the strength, the unity and more, hidden within us, comes out at times like this.

Any human being, who is honest to himself, will admit that we are different. There is something unique and special about us. Like the olive oil, which keeps itself separate from all the other liquids, and does not mix with them, so too we are unlike any of the other nations, keeping to ourselves (while, of course, always treating them with respect). If we are not particular about it, the nations of the world will inevitably, remind us of this.

At times like this, I often think that the well known phrase: "In the merit of Jewish women we will be redeemed", becomes clearer and more obvious. Who, if not us, merciful and compassionate women, will bang on the gates of Heaven, pleading to our Father in Heaven to save us? Who, if not us, will cry out to Him, as we have learnt from our Matriarch Rahel, 'a"h, and beg Him to have mercy on our children? He will collect every single tear of ours and gather them in a most precious place for Him. I think, right next to His Throne of Glory.

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