A chasidic discourse by Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn of Lubavitch
Translated & Annotated By: Rabbi Shais Taub
Additional Annotation By: Rabbi Avraham D. Vaisfiche
When the Jews served the golden calf during their sojourn in the wilderness, says the Midrash, the woman refused to join them. Feminine Faith traces the roots of the feminine within the supernal realms, and explores its relationship to woman and how it translated into their aversion for unholy and ungodly worship. Why are woman more sensitive than men to G-ds role in earthly events and His mastery over creation? In this discourse, Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn, fourth leader of Chabad Lubavitch (1834-1882), explores G-ds unity and immanence in the world, and the innate sensitivity that woman posses to spirituality.
"Feminine Faith" is a top pick for Jewish women who want to gain a greater appreciation for the place of womankind in Judaism.
--The Midwest Book Review
Ambiguity may be exciting, with its implied promise of endless
possibilities, but not when it concerns gender.
Today`s youth would do
well to be more confident of their identities as boy or girl. Such
confidence can hardly be achieved without a clear ,definite and
appealing definition of ones gender.
Studying this discourse in its
original Hebrew has helped young women celebrate their uniqueness as
Jewish and female. The English translation makes it even more
accessible and that is a good thing.
--Rabbi Manis Friedman, Dean Beis Chana International Women`s Institute
The following discourse, given by the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shmuel Schneersohn, on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5640 (1879), focuses on the worship of the Golden Calf in the wilderness and the question as to why only the men, and not the women, strayed. Integrating Chabad Chassidus with Talmudic and Midrashic sources, the Rebbe explains how the sin resulted not from desire for idolatry but rather the mens intellectual assumption, after awaiting Moses return from Mount Sinai, that the monotheistic God was far too lofty from involvement in earthly affairs, while the women, whose soul derived from Malchut (the sphere bordering the material world), felt a natural aversion to idolatry and refused to participate.
Articulate, extensively annotated with footnotes and bibliography, and presented in both English and the original Hebrew, this booklet would nicely grace a Shabbat table during the weekly Torah portion Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) or on Rosh Chodesh (which, thanks to their actions, has been traditionally given over to women as a day off from housework). Feminine Faith makes Chabad mysticism accessible both to the practicing Chassid who is looking for further stimulation and to the seeker who might desire an introduction to Chassidic thought. Feminist readers would appreciate the Rebbe`s praise of the Jewish woman and acknowledgement of her spiritual superiority. For all adult Jewish libraries.
--Hallie Cantor, Acquisitions, Hedi Steinberg Library, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, New York