web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits’

Networking, Note-Taking and New Ideas at the Temech Conference

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

“Are you going?”

“Wouldn’t miss it. Are you?”

We’ve been looking forward to this year’s Temech conference for Women in Business for quite a while – practically since last year’s conference was over. But first, a recap for the ladies who were there, the ladies who didn’t make it, and the men who, nebach, aren’t allowed in.

The Temech Conference (according to the little booklet we get on signing in) has three main goals:

1. To give us the tools, knowledge and inspiration to grow our businesses.

2. To help us form valuable business connections with other women like us

3. To help us gather strength and inspiration for the months to come.

I must admit that I’m coming with no great goals in mind for this conference. I want to learn from the speakers I’ve known before (Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits), speakers I’ve heard of but never met (Jamie Geller and Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi) and more. I want to spend a fun day off from work (taking notes during lectures and doing interviews during lunch doesn’t count as work, right?). Did someone mention lunch? A classy lunch at the Ramada sounds good, too. In fact, as a work-at-home mom, any lunch I don’t have to prepare myself sounds good to me.

So – are we set? Four of us band together and order a taxi to get us there on time. All of us busy ladies climb in, tell the driver our destination, pull out our siddurim and begin to daven. After a few minutes, one woman asks the taxi driver to stop talking about Itzik. Who is Itzik? We have no idea, but it’s clear from our driver’s cell-phone conversation that whoever Itzik is, he’s in the doghouse. “Tomorrow, maybe they’ll talk about you!” our brave friend cautions the bald, burly man who’s steering, talking and fiddling with the buttons of his radio. Luckily, our driver laughs and changes the subject. He stops fiddling with the radio, too, and gets us where we’re headed, safe and sound.

We arrive a few minutes after the scheduled starting time, but still have a few minutes to sign in and snag a coffee (the one with extra caffeine, please!) and a croissant (is this the one with no calories?) and schmooze – er, network! – for a few minutes before being shooed into the large hall. Naomi Elbinger, the conference organizer (and author of myparnasa.com – the Jewish business blog), greets us and gives a brief intro to featured speaker Jamie Geller – yes, she of “Quick and Kosher – the Bride Who Knew Nothing” fame.

Expecting nothing is a fantastic way to go into a day because you’ll never be disappointed. I expected something better than last year, and not only am I not disappointed, I come away wowed. Jamie Geller is entertaining and down-to-earth, teaching us all about how to build a successful brand. Step by step, she takes us from markets and messages through naming the business, logos, WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”), websites and more.

“If you remember nothing else from today, remember this,” she concludes, and explains that what makes a brand extraordinary is its “why” – the emotional reason that makes a person want to purchase that item. Simple, right? Basic, too. What’s more, it works.

On to the next speaker: Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, renowned posek and founder and Rosh Kollel of the Jerusalem Kollel. (He also taught me in seminary, more years ago than I’d like to admit.) “The Gemara says that someone who wants to join the Jewish people has to be told the difficult things, and also the easy ones,” Rabbi Berkovits begins. “This is because there is no situation that the Torah does not deal with. Everything fits with the goal of coming closer to the Creator.”

“Business law is complicated,” Rabbi Berkovits explains, “and halachah is even more so.” He proceeds to mention a few subjects for us to be aware of, to be careful about. Among other topics, he touches on honesty and integrity, dealing with the government, selling your product, responsible investing, work relationships, technology and more. “Make sure you conduct your business in a way that’s allowed and encouraged by halachah,” he concludes, promising that if we do so, we can be sure that our endeavors will find favor in Hashem’s eyes.

Title: A Woman’s Mitzvah: A Fully Sourced Guide to the Laws of Family Purity

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008


 


Title: A Woman’s Mitzvah: A Fully Sourced Guide to the Laws of Family Purity


Author: Meira Svirsky



 

 

The mitzvah of taharat hamishpachah (family purity) can be a source of great marital fulfillment and vitality, yet can also – especially for the female partner – cause significant stress, confusion even misery.

 

            A Woman’s Mitzvah speaks directly to the Jewish wife on this most important subject – woman to woman, if you will. The author, Meira Svirsky, is a ba’alat teshuvah who learned at Aish HaTorah and is now an educator, lecturer and outreach professional. Svirsky, who lives with her husband and children in Jerusalem’s Old City, holds a master’s degree in philosophy.

 

            In the genre of taharat hamishpachah guides, A Woman’s Mitzvah is unique in several respects. These qualities, I believe, have a lot to do with its being written by a woman.

 

            First, the book addresses not just the “what” of the various laws but also the “why,” explaining, wherever possible, how and why Halachahdeveloped as it did.

 

            Second, the author provides enriching philosophical context, devoting chapters to the meaning of “purity” and the framework for the Jewish approach to marriage and sex.

 

            Third, while many books on this topic speak in the third person and convey information in a cold, detached manner, A Woman’s Mitzvah uses the second person and maintains a sensitive, down-to-earth tone – while still being clear and decisive.

 

            Fourth, the author makes a concerted effort to present the most favorable and helpful halachic options for women experiencing difficulty in certain areas, such as staining or performing bedikot.

 

            Regrettably, though not unlike other writers on this subject, the author is overly prudent – I would say prudish – in her choice of language. The use of euphemisms for all things sexual makes the book seem less than comfortable with its subject matter. This can only serve to contribute to the persistent lack of comfort among Orthodox men and women in discussing these issues.

 

            As the subtitle indicates, footnotes accompany every statement of Halachah. As with any work of Halachah, readers should always contact their own rav when in doubt as to any aspect of taharat hamishpachah observance even as presented in a well-sourced guide; contemporary authorities differ on the applicability of certain customs and practices.

 

            The book is based upon classes Svirsky took with Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits under the auspices of Aish HaTorah; Rabbi Yirmiyahu Kaganoff, Rosh Kollel of Yeshiva Beis Yisroel in Jerusalem, reviewed and annotated the contents.

 

            A Woman’s Mitzvah may be purchased online at www.awomansmitzvah.com and will soon be available at your local bookstore.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-a-womans-mitzvah-a-fully-sourced-guide-to-the-laws-of-family-purity/2008/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: