By Raizy Goldberg
The women of the Far Rockaway/Five Towns community were treated to an extremely momentous evening of inspiration two weeks ago, as Mrs. Chavi Bauman took the podium at Cong. Beth Sholom to uplift her audience with her unbelievable personal journey towards growth in life and in tzniyus. The 500 women who gathered on a rainy night in late January created a remarkable atmosphere in which to absorb Chavi’s story and gain strength from the incredible koach in the room.
As a BYA graduate, makeup artist, young wife, and mother of two adorable boys, Chavi has been traveling the lecture circuit from her home in Lakewood to share her powerful experience and how it changed her life immeasurably. Sweet, charismatic, and easily relatable, she began by assuring her audience that she is just one of them, not an author, a teacher, or a rebbetzin. Her story began to take shape as she described the event that was the catalyst for enormous introspection and movement in her life. One Shabbos afternoon about a year ago, she awoke suddenly from a nap having experienced a life-altering dream which inspired her to elevate and grow in her tzniyus and yiras shamayim. She was told by countless rabbanim that though she may feel uncomfortable at first, she now had a responsibility to publicize this dream and rally the women of Klal Yisrael to join her awakening and take on new levels of tikkun in this area.
Her passionate and engaging delivery was a source of great inspiration and chizuk, as she encouraged us to listen closely to the messages all around us and grab hold of any and all opportunities for change. At a time when so many around us have myriad challenges and hardships and it is often difficult to nurture that inner spark, Chavi’s presentation was compelling, impactful, and a direct example of the power we have as women to bring kedushah into our homes through the adherence and further perfection of this mitzvah.
Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner of the White Shul brought the evening to its successful close, echoing Chavi’s lead in powerfully describing her feelings about this mitzvah and the special responsibility we have as women to guard and protect it. Rebbetzin Feiner told stories of her own relationship to the area of tzniyus and how careful we must be as women to channel our incredible koach as it directly affects the sanctity of our family and communal life.
The feedback from this event has been uniquely gratifying. Energetically organized by Mrs. Yaffa Jungreis, noted speaker and beloved mechaneches, “An Evening of Inspiration” was born of a desire to highlight Chavi’s story and motivate participants to join the Peninim group campaign, a network where friends can join together in a bi-monthly group to discuss issues in tzniyus in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Under the auspicious leadership of Rav Dovid Weinberger, shlita, and organized by Mrs. Hadassah Zelman, Peninim groups seek to inspire real and practical change through open discussion and interpretation based on a Peninim curriculum of ongoing, informal learning. With your chevrah, in a warm home setting, Peninim groups have become a symbol of consistent and constructive focus on the middah of tzniyus and all it entails. There are already many established local groups which are sporting enthusiastic attendance and, b’H, meaningful results.
Many thanks to all those who made this very special evening a resounding success, and may we continue to inspire each other as a community towards a deeper quality of avodas Hashem.
If anyone is interested in either joining or hosting a Peninim group in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who were not able to attend Chavi Bauman’s Five Towns presentation, please note that she will be speaking this Motzaei Shabbos, February 16 at 8:30 p.m. at the Agudah of Avenue L (in Brooklyn), l’iluy nishmas Chizkiyahu Yisrael ben R’ Sruli Schorr, a’h, upon his Shloshim.
May our efforts be a zechus for his neshamah. v