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A message from "Woman of the Year"

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Shternie Wolf, 44 years old, was just chosen as "Woman of the Year" in Saxony, Germany's fourth largest state, by that state's largest newspaper. She was born in Israel and is a Chabad emissary in Hanover where her husband, Rabbi Binyamin, suddenly passed away two years ago from a blood infection.

She continues their work with seven children at home, in addition to another daughter and her husband who recently moved in as well. She runs a Chabad house that hums with constant activity and she has become a significant local figure among Jews and non-Jews alike.When I spoke with her yesterday, she repeated the message she has been giving in interviews ever since her selection as woman of the year:

"This week we read the Torah portion of Vayak'hel, where the building of the Mishkan, the spiritual center of the nation during its sojourn in the desert, is described. The Torah praises the efforts of the children of Israel in their construction of the Mishkan, with emphasis on the part played by women through their alacrity and diligence. The women in the desert were highly gifted seamstresses, and demonstrated their talent and creativity in the sewing and embroidering of the MIshkan tapestries.

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe derives a message from the above for our generation: Our talents were given to us not only for personal development, but also to be utilized for the benefit of others, to increase light and holiness, to make the entire world into a Mishkan. He made it clear that this message is for everyone, but especially for women, and particularly for this generation. This is my mission in Germany and I am happy to accept this honor. However, to utilize our special abilities in order to transform the world into a MIshkan of goodness and kindness is the mission of every one of us."

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