My name is Miri Schneorson and I live in Kfar Chabad. Besides raising children and taking care of my family (thank God, I am blessed with six wonderful children and seven grandchildren—may there be more like them!), I guide and advise women towards personal and financial success.
The book you are holding could not have been written in a week, nor even in a month or an entire season. For more than fifty-four weeks I grew together with this book, which expanded from month to month and from season to season. Each week that passed provided me with a new insight. Each month included within it a variety of new experiences, most of which are ultimately reflected in the book that is before you now.
In the process of building, strengthening and reinforcing My Choice- Miri Schneorson—what I am and who I am—I took the opportunity to place on record my friends', my clients' and my own doubts, from which I have extracted wonderful insights for life.
I am a collector. I gather experiences and feelings, sift through them, and make something out of them. Every story I have heard, every lesson I have learned, has given me additional tools to help other women become empowered and achieve financial success besides.
The stories, experiences and lessons I collect anywhere: the supermarket, the greengrocer, parent-teacher conferences, Torah classes on military bases across this wonderful country, even employment conferences and sitting on committees in the Knesset.
I am privileged to count myself among the flock sheltered in the shade of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's greatness, and wherever I go, I am accompanied by his inspirational, practicable teachings. I am aware that women are in search of empowerment, are seeking a path for themselves. Women look for recognition of their uniqueness. I chose to look in the Rebbe's Torah for answers to the questions that have troubled and continue to trouble many of the women I have encountered in the past year. And ... I found what I was looking for.
I found the answers among the hundreds of transcribed lectures, letters and articles that the Rebbe addressed to women all over the world—enlightening answers that provide clear guidance and enable each and every one to make the decisions that are right for her.
Even though a long time has passed since Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe's spirit is still present among this nation and inspires billions of people; I am living proof of this, as are hundreds of women I have met throughout this past year.
I have made some important choices in life (who hasn't?), some of which changed my life, my relationship with the Creator, and my relationships with other people. Each and every of us can choose our own way. That is what I do, counseling women to make their own choices.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to convey topical messages combined with Torah and Hassidism through my columns in 'Mishpacha Chasidit' (‘Hassidic Family’) magazine, and through my lessons and lectures in the past and present. Moreover, I get the chance to reach to the ears and hearts of tens of thousands of women through my radio program on 'Kol Chai’ radio channel.
This book was written thanks to these women, and for their sakes. It can serve as a voice for many other women who do not have the courage to confront the issues that bother them.
While writing this book I realized that "There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes). Anything that concerns us nowadays has always concerned women, in some guise or another. This being the case, there is no reason not to take advantage of the tremendous knowledge accumulated over thousands of years.
This can be done by referring to the Torah given to Moses at Mount Sinai, which I did week after week, as you can read yourselves. The Weekly Portion of the Torah, which grants us guidance and strength to live through the following week, can mediate our experience of the present; it can provide many insights and practical advice for everyday life.
About 25 years ago I created a confection that, within a few years, turned into a leading chain of children's clothing stores for religious and Orthodox Jews in Israel and abroad. Over the years, I have met hundreds and thousands of religious and ultra-Orthodox customers, in addition to the women among the staff, designers and branch managers of our eighteen stores.
I discovered a common denominator to (almost) all these women. They all want to pamper their children, to dress them up in fine clothes and nurture them. I learned that among Orthodox women, "Culture and Leisure" means something close to the nest, the family that only they can care for and maintain to the highest standard.
The most important choice I have made is to invest in my family and build it anew after finishing the fashion chapter of my life. It’s still not easy for me to choose the dishes in the sink over a career as a businesswoman. I often struggle with replacing a seminar about textile import with cooking in the kitchen, and sometimes I still must choose between having a profound conversation with my son or a conversation among friends at the Chinese or Turkish embassy.
This is my choice!
I put my family first. Everything else exists to serve this goal.
I am glad to call myself a "Shlicha", an “ambassador” and to remind myself that I—like any other woman—am only an envoy of God. My job is to make this world a better place and to build my home with love.
The right choice gives me great and continuous satisfaction. It brings light to my life and allows me to invest in my job without being enslaved to it.
In today's modern world, anything is possible. The media is easily accessible. The world is in the palm of each hand (it's called a smart phone). Boundaries are broken but the heart remains closed, encased in layers. Over time, through very difficult personal work, I have managed to peel back all the layers that had covered my heart. I managed to overcome the cynicism within me that characterizes our generation, and discover my inner substance. In the counseling world, this is called "connecting to my inner self."
The connection to my inner self was possible thanks to the Lubavitch philosophical work the Tanya, whose letters in Hebrew (תניא) are an anagram of the word "firm" (איתן), which is an acronym for the phrase “אתה יודע תעצומות נפשי”— "You know the strength of the soul." I asked God to give me the strength to reveal my inherent powers and to help me and other women to do so.
There is a Jewish proverb that though everything is already foretold, man still has free will. Everyone has the opportunity to choose; to make the right choice. Even in difficult situations a person can choose between sadness and joy, hope and disappointment, initiative and inaction. God gave us the ability to choose, and it is unquestionably in our hands.
I made my choice and I make it again every day. You can, too.
הוסף רשומת תגובה