Out of all the Sefirot, one, Malchut, is considered to be ‘female’. The main reason for this is because Malchut only receives, while the other sefirot all ‘give’, which according to the Torah is a male trait.
Malchut is when you crown God as King of the world, primarily by seeing Him actively engaged in every area of your life. This is a working definition of what it means to have emuna, so emuna and malchut are very connected.
It’s no accident that women tend to have a lot more emuna than men; they tend to be much more connected to the spiritual realm, and much more in tune with God, and what God actually wants, especially if they’re regularly talking to Him.
Which brings me on to the main topic of today’s post:
In the story of the Exchanged Children, Rebbe Nachman explains how the main protagonist, the prince-turned-slave, is set a riddle by the land of the wise people with a foolish king, in order to become their king.
The prince-turned-slave is shown a tableau where everything has been rearranged and taken out of its proper place, and his job is to put it all back in its right order.
The first thing the prince-turned-slave does is take the rose that he finds at the bottom of the throne, in the mud, and to return it to its proper place at the top.
A few months’ ago, I was having a chat with God, like you do, and I suddenly got some startling clarity about that particular story, and what the rose represents: the rose is us!
It’s you and me, and the rest of the ladies out there.
For all the so-called progress made by the ‘Women’s Lib’ movement, women today have never been so disrespected, downtrodden and demeaned.
The Hollywood culture has turned us into bodies to be ogled and used in the most heart-breaking fashion; the materialistic culture has turned us into slaves to the paycheck, forcing us to put having a job ahead of having the time and patience we need to really nurture our families; and Women’s Lib has made us feel guilty that we’re not as competitive, unfeeling and insensitive as the men in our lives.
I’d love to tell you that things are better in the Jewish world, and especially in the religious Jewish world, but really, they’re not.
Here too, women are routinely in the mud.
I hate all the stereotypes that abound in the religious world, and that are used to hit various groups over the head with, so I’m going to pause, and let you look around your own community, your own group, to recognise how this may be playing out in your world.
What I see, is tired, stressed female faces on every side; I see lonely woman who clearly feel ‘something’ has gone wrong; I see daughters growing up promising themselves they are never going to live like their mothers; I see wives and girlfriends hoping and wishing it could somehow be different, and that the men in their lives could somehow grow up, and start treating them with respect and genuine love and caring.
I see this happening all over the place. It’s not confined to any single stereotype, community or neighbourhood. We women are in the mud.
We need someone, somehow, to take us from our lowly position, and replace us as the beautiful crown of our homes. Rav Arush, bless him, has been trying to do this for a few years’ already, with his books about marriage.
In those books, Rav Arush makes it clear that it’s the man’s role is to GIVE and the woman’s role is to RECEIVE. That’s how God made the world. That’s the right order of things.
So in this week of Malchut, let me give us all a bracha that things should return to their right place, and that we women should be raised out of the difficult places we currently find ourselves in, in every sense of the word.