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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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I Love Jewish Women!

Our sages teach it was the women of Israel that saved the nation from Egypt.


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That’s right. I love Jewish women. Especially my wife. The last time she came back from a family wedding in chutz l’aretz, I met her at the airport with a bouquet of flowers and a balloon, “I Love You.”

Some readers in the Diaspora think I’m a monster, but I’m really a sweetheart. Ask my wife. I agree with her in everything. That way we never have fights. If she says I’m grouchy, I don’t argue. I know it’s really G-d telling me that I’m grouchy, speaking through my wife. So I try to be less grouchy and smile more around the house. And if she tells me I’m cheap, then I go out and buy her a dress. I’m happy with her every criticism, because I know it’s all coming from G-d to make me a better person.

I didn’t go with my wife to the wedding in New York, because I can’t breathe there. I feel like there’s no air. It’s not because of the pollution – I feel the same way in Colorado. It’s because there’s no holiness in the air in America. If I have to leave the Land of Israel, I’m like E.T. the Extra Terrestial, who couldn’t breathe in the Earth’s atmosphere. I feel like I’m suffocating. The only way I can survive there is by taking a tank of oxygen with me wherever I go, filled with air from the Land of Israel. So I just don’t bother to go.

Actually, Rabbi Kook teaches that it’s really a blessing if you can’t tolerate the air in the Diaspora, and if everything there seems foreign to you. It’s a sign that a person has made a living connection to the holiness of the Land of Israel, and that his soul can’t tolerate to be anywhere else. That’s the way all Jews should feel. But Diasporians who were born there and grew up without any holiness in the air, they don’t notice that it’s missing. They’re used to living in a place without holiness. Compared with Eretz Yisrael, the Diaspora is a different planet.

Remember the video of the guy who jumped out from some space capsule last year and plummeted miles and miles toward Earth before opening his parachute? For me the thought of leaving the Land of Israel is just as terrifying. I feel so lucky to be here in the Land of Israel, I never want to leave.

But getting back to Jewish women – you have to love them. After all, they saved us in Egypt. That what our Sages tell us – we were saved from extinction in Egypt because of the righteousness of our women. It was the fearless bravery on the part of Miriam and Yocheved in not following the orders of Pharaoh to kill the male babies that saved the Jewish Nation. Also, when the men were crushed under the burdens of slavery, and fell to the lowest levels, their wives strengthened them and kept bearing children, so that the more the Egyptians tortured us, the stronger we grew.

And when we left Egypt, it was only the men who listened to the Spies in the wilderness and refused to travel on to Eretz Yisrael. All of the women made aliyah, which shows that Jewish women are smarter than Jewish men, which is another reason why we should listen to them.

We owe our women so much, no matter whatever they might do to upset us, we can never pay them back for all the good they’ve done for us. I love my wife so much. You know what? I’m going out right now to buy her a new dress. She deserves it.

Your wife deserves it too.

Tzvi Fishman

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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