Hundreds of women gathered on Monday night for an inspiring event with Mrs. Bluma Rivkin, shlucha of the Rebbe to New Orleans, and veteran educator, wife and bubby.
“Built to Last” was Junior N’shei and Mikvah.org’s opening event for the year 5776 and the positive response was overwhelming.
Celebrating 40 years of mivtza Taharas Hamishpacha, the theme of the evening was sholom bayis – learning lessons from our Rebbeim in building and strengthening our home. In the spirit of hakhel, mikvah.org and Junior N’shei joined together to bring the women of Crown Heights an enjoyable evening filled with food, gifts, discussion and inspiration.
Participants were greeted with theme-appropriate table decor featuring bricks, and delicious desserts, soups and salads. Each attendee also received a gift of a collapsible sheitel head and brush to bolster the mitzvah of kisui harosh.
However, the clear highlight of the evening was Mrs. Rivkin.
Mrs. Rivkin’s presentation was poignant and personal. She spoke about the yechidus of the Frierdiker Rebbe with her mother, during which the Rebbe wished her a joyful life and ample livelihood in her upcoming marriage, and then added a unique instruction that she and her husband should always consult with each other prior to making any decisions. Growing up, Mrs. Rivkin recalls, her mother always said “I need to review this with Tatty.” To the children, it gave a deep sense of security to know that their parents always had a united front.
Having organized a shiur with friends in the z’chus of their children’s shidduchim, Mrs. Rivkin spent many years learning the Rebbe’s teachings on shidduchim and marriage. Bringing points from the Rebbe’s letters on these topics, as well as from the book “Eternal Joy” and other sources, Mrs. Rivkin stressed that a chassidishe outlook will build lasting relationships on strong foundations.
One letter of the Rebbe reminded a woman that only Hashem is perfection, and to not seek perfection in shidduchim or in one’s spouse. Rather, understand that every good character trait has a potential flip side and vice versa. When your spouse has you irritated, remind yourself of the good side associated with that trait that you found endearing long ago. Focus on the good traits of your spouse and be mindful of your own flaws. Additionally, it is important to maintain a ratio of nine positive experiences to each negative experience in relationships.
In response to a question brought up regarding a spouse dropping practices in Yiddishkeit, she reiterated that the woman should focus on the positive, and literally make daily lists of all the good things her husband does for her and the family to help with that. One can only fix one’s self, so feeling that something is lacking in their spouse is an indication they should think about what parallel might exist in their own personality, and what they can do to better themselves.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. “As always, the events you put on have every detail in place, great speaker, nice set up, cute center pieces, relevant hand outs and refreshments,” one participant wrote.
“I really enjoyed listening to Mrs. Rivkin. She spoke beautifully and gave me a lot of chizuk,” was B.G.’s reaction about the evening.
The evening concluded with a Q&A session where Mrs. Rivkin’s wisdom and sense of humor held the crowd mesmerized and laughing. Of course there was also the raffle drawing and distribution of prizes.
Many thanks to Raskin’s Fruitstore, Kaff Kafe and to the vendors sponsoring the prizes.
Package #1. C. Levin
Package #2. S.C.P.
Package #3. Esty Bryski
Package #4. Rochel Leah Engel
Package #5. Chaya Gurary
Package #6. Levi Fuss
Package #7. Levi fuss
Package #8. Levi fuss
Package #9. Groner