Monday, January 2, 2012

The Quintessential Quality of the Jewish Mother

Art: Sharon Tomlinson

Rachel lost her own spiritual luxury - the privilege of being buried in the Cave of Machpeilah - in order to help her children. This represents the unparalleled quality of the ''Jewish mother'' who is always willing to sacrifice her own needs, spiritual or physical, for the sake of helping her children.

And this is the inner reason why Jewish identity follows the maternal and not the paternal route. For even though the father possesses a greater degree of spirituality - since he has the privilege of observing more mitzvos than a woman - the quality of a Jewish mother is nevertheless greater, that she is willing to forego much of that spirituality in order to enable her to raise a family with tender loving care. And since this quality is even more quintessentially Jewish than the spirituality of the man, it is the mother than actually makes her children Jewish.

Source: Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe [vol 30 pp 239-240]

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