My Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Dance

My Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Dance

This morning, in Devora’s dance journey workshop, we went on a short walk outside to contemplate nature. Each of us chose something outside, and for 10 minutes we meditated upon it and what it was teaching us.

And I was drawn to this flower…

As I looked at it, I was amazed by its perfection, its symmetry…Thriving, growing big, sharing its beauty with the world.

But the most striking thing about this remarkable flower, I realized, was how completely stuck it was!

Since it was a seed, it has never ever moved from this single spot.

It’s stuckness is rivaled only by its beauty, its unceasing growth.

And I couldn’t help but think of…me. Who has spent the last 2 decades as a mom, so many hours spent in this home, growing deep roots of love, connection, dedication to my children and husband.

And that flower reminded me how, out of this stuckness…no, not stuckness, this ROOTEDNESS, I too have blossomed.

And looking at that flower, I thought of an article a friend gave me in honor of the 30th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson last week…

In the article, Mrs. Louise Hager shared her memories of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka with whom she had a close relationship:

“[My visits with the Rebbetzin] were a chance for me to voice my concerns. In particular, when my children were small, the Rebbe was in the process of encouraging us women to go out and talk about candle lighting, keeping a kosher home and family purity.

“At the time I just couldn’t bring myself to do this. I felt terribly inadequate. And I could not even blame the famous English reserve, as many of my friends were indeed participating with great success.

“All I seemed capable of was the apparently mundane and unexciting daily routine of being a wife and mother.

“When I discussed this with the Rebbetzin, she would say, ‘But Louise, I don’t understand the problem. I know you love having people in your home. When they come and share a Shabbat or Jewish holiday with you and see a Jewish family proud and natural with their tradition – who knows how their lives will be touched? And you never know, perhaps one day you will be able to do other things as well?’

“In this way, she led me to re-assess the value of what I had come to take for granted as ordinary, making me realize that everything is built upon the home and its strong foundations, whilst at the same time leaving the way open for me to aspire to wider achievements.

“I learned from the Rebbetzin that the important thing is to be at peace with whatever one’s stage of life is at, giving it one’s all, whilst being receptive to the opportunities that arise.

“Over the years whenever I have spoken, this point seems to resonate very strongly, with many women telling me that they too are in awe of those who are outwardly more active, but they have been tremendously encouraged at hearing the of the importance the Rebbetzin placed on being a devoted wife and a good mother.”

This morning, after our outing into nature, we went back to Devora’s home and danced what we had seen outside.

So I danced the dance of stuckness, no, rootedness, from which I have grown and blossomed like my flower…The dance of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka zt”l.

Watch Louise Hager’s full speech about her connection with Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka


  1. Hadassah Aber

    The connotation of a word and its associated feelings. Stuckness =negative
    Rootedness =positive
    Our attitude towards the situation colors our moods and how creative and appreciative we can be. Thanks for a beautiful article.

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