The following is a freely translated excerpt from a talk
the Rebbe gave to women's gathering on Iyar 25, 5744 (May
The Torah assigns different roles to men and women. Obviously,
this does not imply the superiority or inferiority of either
sex, only that, in addition to their common mission in life,
each has its unique function and role in creation. This can
be compared to the human body, which is comprised of various
limbs and organs: on the one hand, there are the needs and
features that are common to each of the body's cells; on the
other hand, each organ and limb has its distinct needs and
features that derive of its specific role within the greater
function of the body.
Thus, there are mitzvot--such as the mitzvah to Love
your fellow as yourself
or To know that there exists a First Existence, who
brings every existence into being
--that apply equally to both sexes, as the blood that circulates
throughout the body providing nourishment to each of its diverse
organs and limbs. But there are also mitzvot that have been
commanded only to men, as well as mitzvot that have been delegated
specifically to women, in keeping with their specific divinely-ordained
However, G-d is the ultimate perfection, and He has imbued
of His perfection in the Torah and mitzvot---the avenue of
our relationship with Him. So although there are mitzvot that
have been commanded only to men, this does not preclude women
from attaining the full spectrum of perfection that is realized
by the fulfillment of all the divine commandments of the Torah.
In the words of the Holy Ari, Rabbi Isaac Luria: When
the male does the mitzvah [that is commanded specifically
to men], there is no need for the woman to do it on her own,
since she is included in his performance of the mitzvah...
this is the deeper significance of what our sages have said,
A person's wife is as his own body.
As the Zohar states, man alone, or woman alone, is but half
In other words, the Torahs exemption of the woman from
certain mitzvot pertains only to her obligation to perform
them. As for the attainment of the specific aspects of our
relationship with G-d that is realized through these mitzvot,
the woman is equal to the man, attaining them through her
husbands performance of the mitzvah.
Furthermore, also an unmarried woman enjoys the rewards generated
by the male mitzvot, through their performance
by the one who is destined to be her husband.
As the Zohar explains, man and woman, comprising the two
halves of a single body, likewise share a single soul. It is only that G-d desired that for a certain
portion of its life on earth, the soul should be divided in
two--half of it in a male body and its other half in a female
body--and that each half should perform its mission in life
separately, until such time that G-d unites them in marriage.
This explains the tremendous joy that accompanies a marriage,
a joy that has no parallel in any other joyful occasion. For
when two half-souls, separated at birth and raised in different
homes, different communities, perhaps even different countries,
are reunited by the power of He who sits and matches
couples,---what greater joy can there be?!
Thus, when a young man observes a mitzvah that has been commanded
solely to men, the young woman in whom the other half of his
soul resides shares in the fulfillment and perfection that
this mitzvah achieves, although neither might be aware of
the others existence at the time.
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber
 Mishneh Torah, Laws of the Fundamentals of Torah,
 Talmud, Menachot 93a.
 The Ari's Likkutei Torah, Bereishit 15a
 Zohar, part III, 7b, 109b and 296a
 Midrash Rabbah, Bereishit 68:4: A matron
asked Rabbi Yossei bar Chalafta: In how many days
did G-d created His world? replied Rabbi Yossei: In
six days. Asked she: And what has He been doing
since then? Replied Rabbi Yossei: He sits and