One week ago Monday night there was a wonderful gathering of women from the community who came out to say Tehillim and hear words of inspiration and enjoy the voices of some very talented women in the community.
After the keynote speaker, Chavi Bauman spoke, sparks began to fly in my head and haven’t stopped. Whatever it was that possessed me at the time, caused me to get up in front of 100’s of women and ask for their help. Mrs. Bauman’s speech primarily addressed the topic of dressing modestly and realizing that we are the princesses of Hashem. She relayed countless stories of how one inch, one small baby step can make huge differences in the world and even save lives. Mrs. Bauman talked about taking action and leaving our comfort zone. I publicly said, I am far from the level of Mrs. Bauman, but I am willing to take the first step and try. As a designer, I wanted to offer my services in helping redesign wardrobes in a fun and creative way. I wanted to help take the fear out of making a change, and replace the fear with excitement.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I told my husband that I need to find out where Mrs. Bauman will be speaking the next day and how I wanted to take my 13 year old daughter to hear her. (My 15 year old already heard her speak earlier in the day in her school.)
The next morning around 9 am, I received a call from a young woman who helped coordinate the event from the previous night. She notified me that Mrs. Bauman will be speaking to the junior high girls from several schools and would like me to make the introduction. I was quite speechless and was not sure how to respond. Within a few minutes (after I couldn’t take much more arm twisting), I agreed. I was so happy that my daughter was one of those students who would benefit so greatly from Mrs. Bauman’s speech.
Literally, moments after I hung up the phone and agreed to speak, my husband walked into the kitchen, looking pale, and said he just got an email from Passaic, requesting everyone to Daven (pray) for Refael Yoel Ozer Ben Chaya Malka (Refael was added a day later).
Two hours later, I was standing before 100’s of students, reciting Tehillim together and introducing Mrs. Bauman. After Mrs. Bauman spoke, I once more got up to speak to the girls and told them I will help in any way I can to make dressing modestly fun. I invited them to all join me in becoming fashion designers and told them about the workshops I envision opening in LA very soon. I pulled out 2 skirts from my bag. One skirt was made out of two skirts and the other skirt I let down the hem right before their eyes. I then removed a scissors from the bag. I handed it to Mrs. Bauman and asked her to cut 1″ off my Sheitel (wig). We used this most powerful Eis Ratzon (time of Divine assistance) to cry out to Hashem and ask that he save the life of Refael Yoel Ozer and bring him the complete Refuah Shlema that he so desperately needs. There was not a dry eye in the room.
A few hours later, I was asked to say another few words to a number of schools across town. This time, I brought Benny and my daughter with me. It was too early for me to take another inch off my wig, but my daughter was ready to cut an inch off her beautiful long blond hair. By the time I was finished speaking, a few girls approached me asking me to cut their hair or help with lengthening their skirts. At first, I declined in the cutting ceremony. I am by no means a hair stylist. plus I wanted them to ask their mothers. They said they were old enough to decide for themselves. It truly brought me to tears and to a place I’ve never been. These girls listened to a really powerful and inspirational speech by Mrs. Bauman, internalized it and and put it into action. The hair was mostly symbolic of wanting to take that leap and begin to make a change.
At the time, I was pumped with an adrenaline rush. I was in a frame of mind that I will do whatever it takes to help bring the Refuah that this baby needs. I continue to be in that frame of mind, one week later and that is why I am writing this post. We are in the time known as, “Ikvasa D’Mshicha” – the birth pangs of Moshiach – and it is up to us to just take one baby step at a time, to bring Moshiach in our times.
After the speeches, I received countless emails, calls and hand written notes of people from all walks of life, and all ages, taking action to make improvements. One baby step at a time.
The next morning, Ari and I headed to NY/NJ to be with our dear friends the Feder’s and offer any support we could possibly give. I packed an overnight suitcase filled with inches of hair that were trimmed in her son’s Zechus for a Refuah Shlema.
Later that evening, Wednesday, there was a community wide gathering in Passaic to recite Tehillim (Psalms) for Refael Yoel Ozer Ben Chaya Malka. I asked Michelle if I should remain with her in the hospital or go. She encouraged me to go and give over a message. Michellle’s goal in life is to make Hashem proud. All I can say is, Hashem was proud to see this gathering of 100’s of women. I also mentioned the commitment of the young girls in LA who took upon themselves to make a change for the Zechus of a compete Refuah Shlema.
The following morning, I received a phone call to speak to the high school girls in Passaic. Once again, I declined. I was only in NJ for a day, leaving that evening. I wanted to be in the hospital to entire day. Well as the saying goes, man plans and G-D laughs. Within an hour, I was standing before the high school seniors. What they don’t know is, they think I was inspiring them, in truth, they were inspiring me. In the days that followed, I heard many girls cut their hair an inch or pulled out some shorter skirts from their closet and bid farewell. The concept goes so much further beyond the “one inch.” It’s about taking action, even when there is fear, and jumping in to make a difference.
It is one week later, the calls, emails, texts and letters continue to flow in. I am deeply inspired and at the same time excited. I feel as if we are on the front lines of a war and we are empowered to liberate our long, long Golus. We can call it the Tzinius Revolution. My Zaida Ben Z”TL used to say, when we see our children fall or go thru a difficult time, we should try and change the mindset of that person. What if we apply that same tactic to dressing modestly. The more we protect our bodies and neshamos the more beautiful we are on the inside and out.
Unfortunately, we are all connected to someone, somewhere, who is in the midst of their own battle, whether it be illness, single hood, childless, unhappy relationship etc. What if you were told the “magic potion”, to bring the Refuah/Geula, will not cost a penny and is in your very own closet? All you have to do is make one change (at a time) by going out of your comfort zone and taking action to bring more Kedusha (holiness) to the tumultuous world we live in. Adar is a month that brings Simcha (happiness), giving us a boost to get started to reach that closer connection to Hashem.
We will be adding a spreadsheet on the site of actions being taken around the world on a daily basis to bring Kedusha to the world. Please share your’s today!