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When G-d first told Moshe to prepare the Jews to receive the Torah He commanded him This is what you shall say to the House of Yaakov and speak to the Children of Israel Shemot 193 Our Sages explain that the House of Yaakov refers to Jewish women and the Children of Israel to the men G-d told Moshe to approach the women first This order implies a sense of priority for the Torah to be perpetuated among the Jewish people precedence must be given to Jewish women Three fundamental mitzvot are associated with Jewish women 1 Challah - the separation of a portion of the dough being prepared for baking and by extension the preparation of kosher food in its entirety 2 Niddah - the observance of Taharat HaMishpacha the Torahs guidelines for maintaining the purity of marital life 3 Hadlakat HaNer - the lighting of candles to welcome the Shabbat and festivals into our homes The name Chanah serves as an acronym for the Hebrew names of these three mitzvot for the prophetess Chanah serves as a paradigm for Jewish women The Tanach Shmuel I Ch 1-2 underscores her unique contributions as a wife and as a mother and accentuates her activities beyond her household through which she inspired the Jewish people as a whole These three mitzvot lead to precisely the same goals They help a woman to weave the physical and spiritual fabric of her home to forge a link to posterity and to transform her home into a lantern that will illuminate its environment The observance of the commandment of Challah and by extension maintaining a kosher diet shows the uniqueness of the Torah lifestyle Even eating drinking and other physical activities are to be carried out in a manner which expresses the connection we share with G-d How does a woman help a man - and they answer with rhetorical questions If a man brings home wheat does he
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