A Mother’s Power by Slovie Jungreis-Wolff
…One of the most difficult jobs in the world is called “mother.” There are some moms who work all day, return exhausted, and are disrespected or at best ignored in their homes. Yes, the same can be said for some mothers who stay at home, give all they’ve got to their families and yet are disregarded and taken for granted by their children. It has nothing to do with how much money has been amassed in the bank account. Both these women feel weak and little. We cannot always equate cash and clout. These are the moms that I feel badly for.
At the same time there are mothers who are beloved, cherished, and appreciated. Their voices are heard, their opinions respected. They walk with a force of grace and dignity. These are mothers who parent from strength. They put thought into their parenting, overcome challenges, worry about each child’s character and soothe their hurts and pains while filling their homes with a sense of blessing and joy.
And many of these children relish the love, recognize the sacrifice, and bask in the bond that has been forged from the moment they took their first breath in this world. In this home exists a sense of consideration, regard, even reverence and awe that borders on the sacred. It does not depend upon moms who work versus stay=at=home moms. It does have to do with parenting style, family dynamics, kids’ natures, effective discipline, and prayer for success and peace in the home. To love and be loved, to hear and be heard, to own self-respect and be respected – this is the ultimate feeling of empowerment for a mother.
Indeed, it was Adam, the first man, who gave words to the essential life force called “woman.” When faced with his destiny to die, Adam calls his wife “Chava, for she is the one who gives life to all the living.” She will ultimately deliver him from a finite death and through her, man becomes immortal. ‘Chava’ denotes spiritual life, for not only does this woman/mother give physical life but a spiritual and emotional life as well. She creates this incredible legacy that is eternal as she gives life to the next generation. The destiny of man continues. It is the mother who has been charged with this noble and mighty task.
Judaism reveres the powerful role of mothers. These women have paved the road that we walk on till today through their loyalty, strong faith, heroism, deep love and Shabbos lights. Far from being dependent, it is the women upon who our nation depends. Mothers ignite the sparks that are waiting to be kindled within the hearts of the next generation. Mothers nurture the soul of each child teaching them the meaning of endless love. Mothers carry life, give life and shed tears as they pray that each child lives a purposeful and good life. To me, this is the greatest most empowering mission of all; one that I feel incredibly privileged to have been given.