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Email CANDLE LIGHTING
4:16 PM in New Brunswick, NJ
Shabbat Ends 5:18 PM
Friday, 23 Nov 2018
Parashat 
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Challah, Candles & a Beautiful Mikvah
In honor of the 37th Anniversary of the founding of Chabad House at Rutgers University, Chabad has recently published a 204 page coffee-table pictorial album.   This book is complete with the history of Chabad House, from its humble beginning in a rented room to its present day location in the heart of the Rutgers Campus.  Colorful stories and photos depict all aspects of the Chabad House and its outreach activities at Rutgers, and throughout New Jersey.

The album contains special articles written by Elie Wiesel, and by Governor Chris Christie.

We are proud to present you with excerpts from this magnificent historical account of how the largest Chabad House in the world was founded and nurtured by rabbis, community leaders, and supporters.  

* * *

Forty pounds. That’s how much flour Rebbetzin Sarah Goodman and the young Rutgers women who bake with her each Thursday night use. Their beautiful braided challot go not only to the Chabad dining room, dorms, and students’ families but also to homes and hospitals throughout New Jersey. Ask anyone who knows her and you’ll discover that she is not only nourishing bodies. Rebbetzin Goodman is nourishing minds, souls, and future generations.

Ask her, and the rebbetzin will share that one her most important tasks is raising awareness about the mikvah and myths and truths about the Jewish view of family life and intimacy.

During the past two years, Rebbetzin Goodman’s mikvah tours have become a sought-after outing for Hadassah groups. In fact, she has provided tours to close to 50 chapters. The women, who tend to range in age from 60-80, are all extremely impressed. Many, after learning about the positive impact of mandates about intimate relationships, wish that taharat hamishpacha, family purity, had been part of their lives. From the comments she hears, Rebbetzin Goodman knows that while these women may have missed out, they will share their discoveries with their granddaughters…and grandsons! Another of the Rebbetzin’s favorite tours are those she gives to the eighth grade graduating classes of the local Solomon Schechter Schools. “Many of these girls,” she says, “will not be continuing their day school education. It is important for them, and the mothers who accompany them, to have a positive experience and impression of the mikvah. My hope is that they will recall their tour and our frank discussions positively, so that they when they are ready to marry, they will think about incorporating the mikvah in their lives as a true possibility.”

Rebbetzin Goodman often provides tours of Chabad’s spa-like mikvah on Thursday nights for the young women who join her for challah baking. Students are usually incredulous to discover the mikvah’s luxurious touches that include ambient lighting, soft music, lush plants, spa robes, and varied other amenities.

The rebbetzin explains that Judaism celebrates and elevates intimate relationships and that the mikvah keeps marriage fresh and exciting. Many harried students are drawn to the idea of creating sacred time for themselves. Others realize that relationships can grow jaded and want to learn more about ways to energize their eventual marriages. “And,” says Rebbetzin Goodman, “I hear this from men also! They want to inject lasting meaning and intimacy into their marriages as well. The mikvah is used by married graduate students, faculty members, and neighborhood families.”

After a Thursday night that touches on two of the three unique mitzvot for women, challah and mikvah, Rebbetzin Goodman encourages her fellow bakers to arrive for Friday night services a bit early so they can partake of the third mitzvah as well: candle lighting. She explains that these three mitzvot have contributed to the survival of the Jewish people. Within the space of 24 hours, many young women discover a trio of mitzvot that can infuse their lives with sacred meaning.

Looking at it that way, 40 pounds of flour is a great investment!

*
What is the Significance?

Three main mitzvot that were especially assigned to woman are challah, mikvah and candle lighting.

All three are symbolically related to the foundation of the Jewish home.

Challah nourishes the body and soul, and relates to thephysical existence of the home.

Mikvah contributes to the couple’s atmosphere of holiness,purity and peacemaking at home.

Candle Lighting resembles the spiritual life at home, a life of Torah and mitzvot, since the Torah is likened to the light ofcandles.

A woman has the power of filling her home, the nation and the world with light, love, friendship and peace.

 

 


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