I once heard the following anecdote which is no doubt more fiction than fact, but the message is certainly relevant to this week’s sedra of Korach.
The President of the United States of America and his wife, the First Lady, received a rapturous welcome when they returned to the First lady’s home town. As the presidential state car made its way down the main road, hundreds of locals were enthusiastically waving their national flags; nostalgia filled the air as old and young wanted to catch a glimpse of “their” little girl who had become so famous.
The presidential convoy passed a building site and a builder wearing his hard hat and florescent jacket waved from the top of a scaffolding. The First Lady looked up and, recognising the builder, waved back.
“Who’s that?” asked the President.
“That’s a childhood friend. We grew up together and our families were close friends. Our parents always thought we were going to marry each other. I haven’t seen him for years!”
The President felt a little uncomfortable and sitting up straight said to his wife: “Aren’t you pleased you didn’t end up marrying him and instead married the President of the United States of America!?”
Without missing a beat, the First lady replied: ”You fool! Had I married him, he would have been the President of the United States of America!”
The Gemoro in Sanhedrin (109b) tells us that it was Korach’s wife who instigated his rebellion against Moshe and contrasts her with the wife of On ben Peles who saved her husband’s life by preventing him from becoming involved in the rebellion.
The Gemoro cites the possuk in Mishlei (14:1):
חַכְמוֹת נָשִׁים בָּנְתָה בֵיתָהּ וְאִוֶּלֶת בְּיָדֶיהָ תֶהֶרְסֶנּוּ
The wisdom of women can establish the home
And the foolish woman destroys it with her own hands.
Throughout our history it has always been the Jewish women who have guided us on the right path. It was in their merit that we were redeemed from Egypt, they knew not to participate in the sin of the Eigel Hazahav (the Golden Calf) or that of the Meraglim (the Spies).
The Gerrer Rebbe once told Rav Yecheskel Sarna, the Chevron Rosh Yeshiva, that the greatest Torah personality in the previous generation was not the Chafetz Chaim or the previous Gerrer Rebbe but Sarah Schenirer, the founder of Beis Yaakov and the mother of Jewish education for women today.
As this week’s parsha tells us, the role of the Jewish woman is critical.
Rabbi J Golker
Message to all members of the Chomesh L’Chinuch (‘CLC’) kehillohs :- GGBH, Hendon Adass, Beis Yisroel (“Dayan’s”), Beis Shmuel, Edgware Adass and Beis Yissochor Dov (“Hagers”)
Chomesh L’Chinuch is a NW London kehilloh-based project encouraging Shul members to prioritise and allocate one-fifth (a ‘Chomesh’) of their Tzedokah distributions to the local schools their children attend.
Chomesh L’Chinuch members can either allocate their donations to specific schools or towards the general CLC fund. Over the years, Chomesh L’Chinuch has raised over £1,000,000 for our NW London Schools.
Chomesh L’Chinuch have informed us of two important events taking place this coming July:
a. CLC is now conducting their annual shul survey to assess the schools attended by the members’ children and grandchildren. This survey directly impacts the amount of money that our school will receive. The funds allocated to our school from each shul depend on how many children in that shul attend our school. We therefore strongly encourage you (as parent or grandparent) to fill out the Chomesh L’Chinuch survey for us to receive these much-needed funds. The survey response date has been extended to 6th June.
b. CLC are offering each new CLC member a special sign-up bonus worth up to £1,000. If you (or your family/friends) set up a standing order with Chomesh L’Chinuch and select our school as the sign-up bonus beneficiary, you will be making an important contribution to our school’s financing. Therefore, we encourage all parents, grandparents, and alumni, to sign up to Chomesh L’Chinuch and to please select OUR school for the sign-up bonus. Please find a poster below which provides further information regarding this special sign-up bonus.
PaJeS, the go-to organisation in the community for supporting Jewish Schools, is launching their Power of Partnerships Matched Funding campaign. Whilst we ask our parents to always prioritise donations to the school, PaJeS works very closely with our school and we are happy to endorse this campaign.
Around 60% of children in our community attend Jewish Day Schools. PaJeS plays a critical role in representing our schools at government level and meeting the range of needs of the Headteachers, teachers and governors who lead Jewish schools. PaJeS has been at the forefront of developing our best school leaders, helping our children face the challenges of this past year and been a powerful advocate for Jewish schools at local and national government level. A partnership with PaJeS means greater collaboration between schools, excellence in school leadership and schools being more financially efficient and sustainable.
Please help to raise much needed funds and help ensure that Jewish schools continue to provide the best possible education for our children. Every donation is doubled so whatever you can give will have twice the impact.
Mrs K Brice Headteacher
Hasmonean High School for Girls