Printed from

Who wears the skirt in this house

Friday, 1 February, 2013 - 12:54 pm

While most of this country will be glued to the TV watching the Superbowl, a powerful group of women will be otherwise occupied at an event that is intended to supply them with inspiration, renewal and rejuvenation. I refer to the International Conference of Shluchos (Chabad female emissaries) being held in New York this weekend, in conjunction with the 25th Yahrtzeit of the Rebbe’s wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson.

These women are those with whom the Rebbe entrusted a double mission. On one hand they are partners with their husbands in directing institutions and coordinating activities and programs in their respective communities. Yet they have an equally sacred, if not more so, task of caring for the next generation of soldiers in the army of Hashem. They defy all of the myths and misconceptions about religious Jewish women being relegated to second class status. Not only are they leaders in the communities, but they occupy that role while bearing and caring for large families. Had King Solomon met a Chabad Shlucha he would have felt obligated to add a few additional verses to his ode to the Woman of Valor.

In many societies there is a question about “who wears the pants in the house.” In our homes it is about “who wears the skirt in the house.” And if this weekend is any indication, it is a moot question. Somehow the women are able to juggle all their roles and still keep the home running smoothly (with ample help from their husbands of course). They go away for a few days and the nutrition level goes down in the house, kids don’t see a fruit or vegetable in their lunch bag, matching clothes is optional, phone messages are ignored and there is an all-around void in the house. My kids had a meltdown the first night that Malkie was away – I want Mommy right now – don’t bother explaining that she won’t be back until next week. But in case any of them are reading this… don’t worry – we will clean up and brush the kids teeth before you return!

We are certain that they will return with new ideas, fresh inspiration, and ready to roll on to the next project, event or activity. We will gladly relinquish your role as Akeres Habayis (the foundation of the home) back to you, and I think the kids would rather like that as well.

We are very saddened to report about the passing of Rabbi Amram Gozlan this week. Amram was a patient at Ochsner awaiting a liver transplant. For medical reasons he returned to Israel with the hope of coming back to Ochnser when the time was right. Alas that time will not come. He inspired us all with his strong faith and humble manner, despite being a very accomplished scholar. We give his wife and family our heartfelt wishes of comfort and condolence.

The Purim Shuttle is in high gear. Log in at

Preparations for a Rockin’ Moroccan Purim are well underway. Look out for the card and emails and join the Facebook campaign at

As New Orleans is in full gear hosting the Superbowl, have a good weekend and Shabbat Shalom. Enjoy the newly paved roads and completed construction downtown. It was a pleasure driving around!

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin


Comments on: Who wears the skirt in this house
There are no comments.