All the tragedies going on in the world lately intensify the questions we've had on our minds for centuries: When's Moshiach coming already? What can we do to make him come sooner? As we hear about more of the events going on, as they hit closer and closer to home, we wonder: How much longer? How much worse will things get, ch"v?
When it comes to getting out of sticky situations, Jewish women have historically been the ones to help sort things out. Back in Egypt, before the very first Geula of the Jewish people, the women were given credit for their role in bringing about the redemption, and our sages add that in the merit of women we will be redeemed in the future. Women are not the answer to the problem of golus, but they certainly are catalysts to make good things happen.
In this vein, women from all across the Jewish spectrum and all over the globe have been participating in a series of “Geula Workshops”, seminars that aim to make Geula real, based on the teachings of Torah and illuminated by the wisdom of Chassidus. The Geula Workshop, also known as The Workshop for Personal Transformation, teaches techniques for making Geula a reality in daily life, improving friendships, marriages, family life, spirituality and adding goodness in the world.
"When I was in yechidus (private audience) with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and later on in further correspondence," recalls Chana Ginsburg, co-creator and facilitator of the Geula Workshop, "The Rebbe told me to teach chassidus and to work 'lesakken nafshosenu veruchoseinu'. Over the years the Rebbe encouraged me to keep on teaching and to work with people, counseling and mentoring them according to the ways of Toras Hachassidus. In 1992, while I served on the presidium of Nshei U’bnos Chabad, I went to the Rebbe one Sunday and he gave me an extra dollar to ‘hasten’ the Geula. The Geula Workshop is a combination of these things – bringing together chassidus, self work and the desire to hasten the Geula."
The Workshop has been adapted in different ways and presented to women from all walks of life: from Crown heights to Williamsburg, California to Florida, New Jersey to Ohio, and countless others in between. It has also been brought to the International Kinus Hashluchos, Nshei Chabad Conventions and to shluchos around the world via phone conference. These women who have taken the workshop have been effecting positive changes in their homes, in their classrooms, in their workplaces and in their communities.
“The things I learned from the workshop had an immediate and major effect, not only on me but on my whole family,” said a wife and mother who participated in the Workshop. “It was the beginning of a major transformation for us. My relationships with my husband and kids are now much closer and more supportive.”
What practical changes were there? “I made a commitment to nurture myself more. Even though I didn’t say anything to them, my family became happier, too: happy, calm, sweet and very supportive. It was a big turnaround. We all eat healthier. We do a lot more together as a family – the things we knew we ‘should’ do, but somehow never found time for. We are all more organized. I’ve lost weight, and so has one of my kids.”
The premise of the Geula Workshop is to switch from dealing with life using a “golusdik” approach and to be more “geuladik”. The Geula perspective is about seeing the aleph in golus, finding the good even within the bad. It’s about making positive decisions when confronted with challenges, seeing everything that happens to us as custom-designed by Hashem to bring out the best in each person. The Workshop offers the tools, using cutting-edge coaching techniques and the dynamics of a group to make it real and practical.
“Rebbetzin Ginsburg involved us in our own lives in a new way,” said a Shlucha from Australia who participated in a phone conference workshop. “She gave us realistic work that we could do throughout the workshop and into the future. She provided us with the tools to change. She showed us how to embrace our lives, our challenges and our experiences with excitement. Most of all, the workshops were empowering.”
A woman in Crown Heights had this to say: “I loved the way this workshop is all based on chassidus. At the first class I was blown away! I recognized the truth in it, not in that it answered questions, but that it removed the questions - There are no questions. It has subtly shifted my perceptions of everyday occurrences and given me the knowledge that the Geula way of looking at life is the Torah way.”
If you haven’t heard about this subtle revolution, you can attribute it to the typical fashion of chochmas noshim that chooses a quieter, non-aggressive approach to affecting change. But their families feel the difference. The people they come in contact with see another way of living that's filled with joy and purpose. No, it's not a quick-fix. It's the steady advance towards a world of peace, G-dliness, and all the things associated with the coming of Geula.
Over the weekend of Adar 4, 5769, women will get together for an all-new, incredibly refreshing, warm and stimulating Winter Women’s Weekend highlighted by the Geula Workshop with Chana Ginsburg, at the Rosenhaus’ hilltop estate in Morristown, NJ. Participants of previous weekends--from all facets of the Jewish world, on all levels of Torah observance--enjoyed the deep and inspiring learning as well as the practical, fun workshops. This upcoming winter weekend will feature learning of Kabbalah and Chassidus, delicious wholesome food, mind & body movement, farbrengens, hot sauna for the winter cold, and the gracious hosting of Sharon Rosenhaus and her beautiful home. Another highlight of the weekend will be the popular Meditation and Painting workshop with Neria Cohen, who has brought “Painting the Soul Canvas” to Chabad Houses and community centers all over the world.
For more information about the Winter Women’s Weekend, please visit www.KabbalahofLife.com or call (718) 756-1485. You can also find the “Kabbalah of Life” page on Facebook or view the blog: kabbalahoflife.blogspot.com. Tell your friends!