Women’s Dancing on Simchas Torah

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  • #1018167

    Joseph
    Participant

    Why do the number of posts on this thread keep shrinking?

    #1018168

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    briefly- a fw answers.

    mazca- you may have “grown up” with your ideas but they are absolutely wrong. A woman can touch (and read) from a sefer torah (and certainly tefillin) any time, even if she is a “niddah”. This is an OPEN halocho in joreh deah 282. No one has any doubts about that, as it is based on the gemror and them rabam and other poskim.

    we are only discussing “minhagim’ here and it is also clear that there was a wide range fo minhagim in the ashkenazic world- this has been the subject of our discussions.

    mybat- minhagim are mihagim and are not necessarily binding. your example of rice is an erroneosu one because , in the recent past ,in “shenas bezores’ (years of famine)the poskim have allowed to eat “kitnyos’ in spite of the minhag by ashkenazim not to eat it. Clearly, they would not have allowed chometz chas vesholom, but in times of dire need, they have ignored minhagim.

    As per your point of which mitzvos women have or not, it is simple. they are “obliged’ for mitsvos she’ein hazman geromo”- mitzvas that are not dependent on time but are pottur-free (by and large) of mitzvos that are time- oriented. Yet, they can do these mitzvos also and will be “mekabel sechar’ (receive a reward) Women listen to shofar, shake the lulav and do other mitzvas that they are NOT obliged to do yet still do it. Same with tzitzis. tefillin are a different matter, although the gemoro mentions michal bas shaul and I have heard that rashi’s daughters als put on tefillin.

    I am not taking any sides on the issue whether women “should’ dance, only to point out that, halachically, it is permitted.

    jothar- I don’t know R’moshe teshuvo on women and tzizits but it is well-knwon that chassidic rebbetzins did wear a talis koton,because they wanted to be “mekayim’ the mitzvah.

    #1018170

    mybat
    Member

    ROB I didn’t know dancing with the sefer torah falls into the category of dire needs. How can you compare it to famine?

    I will not say anymore its pointless.

    #1018171

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    If they’re on 2nd floor as some shuls have it, shouldn’t be a problem,

    granting there is a mechitzah thats not see through, from the mens point of view.

    on same floor might be a problem, unless major mechitzah.

    #1018172

    Jothar
    Member

    ROB, Reb Moshe’s teshuva is easily accesible. I believe it’s in volume 1 of Orach chaim of his teshuvos. He’s quite explicit. Chassidishe rebbetzins weren’t wearing tzitzis for feminist purposes.

    #1018173

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    jothar- I don’t know R’moshe teshuvo on women and tzizits but it is well-knwon that chassidic rebbetzins did wear a talis koton,because they wanted to be “mekayim’ the mitzvah.

    —-

    BS”D

    Which ones? Rebbetzin Izevel Tzoiah Yachne of Creedmoor-Creedmoor does not wear one as far as anyone knows but who can see under her burqa anyway? Rebbetzin Lilac Blossom Prunepit Mc-Call Schmoigerwoman of Creedmoor-Alcatraz is indeed a feminist when she is halfway conscious but she is in far too elevated a spiritual state to wear a tallis koton.

    #1018174

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    mybat- my point about ‘shenas betzors’ was that minhagim are NOt set in stone. (even halochos are not necessarily set in stone). hence, if there was a minhag -in certain quarters only- about women not entering the shul,ec…in the time of their “niddha”, it is only a minhag for some. One can safely ignore or change it, if need required.without being branded a “sinner”. Obviously, women who have put on tzitsis or danced with the torah have a spiritual need to do this. I certainly don’t condone anything to be done for “feminist purposes” but it is the height of male chauvinistic arrogance to think that women have no spiritual needs and that they do not derive spritual satisfaction from doing mitzvas. they run to shul to listen to the shofar-although exmpt from it-they sahke the lulav (and the hoshana) religiously. Why would they not derive any satisfaction from putting on tsitsis?

    Again, I do not take sides on the mentioned issues but male chauvinism is alive and well in some of our quarters.

    #1018175

    mazca
    Member

    I just remember hearing that RAShis daughter wore teffilin.

    #1018176

    Jothar
    Member

    Rashi’s daughter wore tefillin and Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi’s daughters wore tzitzis. The shaila, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L, is the intent behind it. Rav Moshe ZT”L said that the intent behind modern txitzis wearers is to rebel, which turns a mitzvah into an aveirah. There is a reason why Rav YB Soloveitchik ZT”L didn’t allow women’s kriah groups or women dancing with the Torah.

    #1018177

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    jothar- how do you recognize intent? how would anyone know why a woman wants to do certain mitzvahs? I met women who were aboslutely scrupulous in their mitzvha observation and felt that they needed (for example)to learn gemoro to feel fullfilled. Are you going to read their minds?

    #1018178

    Joseph
    Participant

    Reb Moshe clearly opposes use of a talis by a woman because the Rema calls it arrogance.

    Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:49:

    “In regard to the women who participate in the battle [feminism] with other women of the world. These women who are Torah observant wish to bring this battle to the arena of Torah law and therefore some pray with Talis and Tefillin and the like. They wish that I state my opinion on the matter. However, it is obvious if her soul desires to fulfill commandments which she has not been commanded. However, since this is not the motivation, but rather due to her complaint against G-d and His Torah, this is not a Mitvza, on the contrary, it is a sin.”

    #1018179

    mybat
    Member

    Well as a woman, I have no comment.I just don’t know any straight thinking orthodox fellow women who feel deprived. So unless you are a woman, don’t speak for us. Thank you.

    #1018180

    mazca
    Member
    #1018181

    mybat
    Member

    Mazca that is really the most beautiful post I have read in this thread, thank you. 🙂

    #1018182

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    joseph- you always select the quotes and omit the quotes that yo udon’t like.

    The remo (siman 17-2) starts by saying that ‘noshim and avodim’CAN puton a talis and make the borcho and this is the shittah of a slew of rishonim. he then adds and says “Mechze ke’jehura” from one possek (the oggur) ,advising not to do it. Its translation is not ‘arrogant’ as you define it but that the person tries to show “‘ too much heigtened spirit’a and maybe the person is not qualified ot do it. we do lots of things that “mechze ke’jehruo’ yet we still do it (rabbeinu tam’s tefillin come to mind”. Anohter is eating in the sukoh while it rains (the expression in the shulcahn aruch is more damning). whatever the fact, people sometiems try too much. Thye should not be pilloried for this.

    Lastly- R’ Moshe’s quote clearly indicates hat he is talking about women whose sole intention is ‘feminism”. I have met many who are very sincere and want to do mitzvas and it has nothing to do with feminism.

    #1018183

    oomis
    Participant

    ” Do we really keep all the mitzvot that HASHEM has given us properly? Do we really need to wear tziztit , teffilin and dance in Simcha Torah to feel fulfill and the love to HASHEM?”

    I agree with all that you say, BUT – though we women do not need to wear Tzitzis or tefillin, which are obligatory on men only, dancing is not an obligation, it is an expression of simcha, and SIMCHA is a mitzvah gedolah incumbent on both men and women. If one grows up in an environment where dancing as an expression of simcha has always been done, that person would never say that men alone should be allowed to express themselves thus. They would understand that many women, too, feel the joy and want to express it (in a tzanua manner, of course). It is not a desire to be like men, or a desire to be chauvinistic – it is that many women feel the need for the SAME OUTLET that is available to the men. As long as it is within halachic guidelines, what skin is coming off anyone’s nose for women to be able to express themselves joyfully, as men have done for centuries? Didn’t Miriam take the women off to dance after the crossing of the Yam Suf? I think we make WAY too much of this issue, and it is the fact that people make an issue at all, that creates a feeling of “second-class citizenship” in many Jewish women frum and not frum alike. JMO (the non-Dancing Queen)

    #1018184

    mazca
    Member

    Well I am about to light candles, so please let me know after

    Simcha Torah how frustrated were the women that didnt dance or how happy were the ones that did. Chag Sameach. lol

    #1018185

    Joseph
    Participant

    squeak – I noticed your post incorrectly purporting in a certain place the women dance is gone. 😉

    #1018186

    Jothar
    Member

    According to an article published by Rabbis Aryeh Frimer (Professor of Active Oxygen Chemistry at Bar Ilan University) and Dov Frimer (attorney and Adjunct Professor in Hebrew University) in Tradition(32:3, pp. 5-118, Winter 1998), Rav YB Soloveitchik, while willing to accommodate women’s prayer groups (although he later changed his mind), had a much more negative view of women dancing with the torah. While there is a chiyuv for women to pray, there is NO chiyuv for hakafos. Furthermore, Rav Soloveitchik would “unequivocally express his opposition to women’s hakafot”, and often “expressed his extreme annoyance at being cited as the authority who supposedly sanctioned women’s hakafot”.

    So, in short:

    1.Every other gadol clearly says “no” to women’s hakafos.

    2. Even Rav YB Soloveitchik, supposedly the source for the heter of women’s hakafos, was against them.

    #1018187

    Jothar
    Member

    Furthermore, it seems quite clear that even women dancing without the Torah is problematic. I hereby retract my opinion at the top of the thread, as batla daati etzel harav YB Soloveitchik ZT”L.

    #1018188

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    jothar- please elucidate your comments. What are/were the problems with women’s prayer groups?

    why did R’Joshe ber zz’l have a ‘negative view’ about women dancing with the torah? it cannot be that this is the halocho- I quoted the shulchan aruch (282) that EXPRESSLY allows women (afilu niddos) to touch the torah and to read from it.

    If this is because it ‘has never been done before’, well, there are many things that had never been done before and then became the norm ( one little known example is the mizmor of le’dovid hashem ori-now virtually said everywhere but only became as such a couple of hundred years ago…)

    additionally- there is no ‘chiyuv’ hakofos for ANYONE. it is a minhag that has developed in the last few hundred years….

    Again- I am not siding with any side here but just to say- “it has never been done before’ is not enough of a reason….half of our halochos and mitzvos had never been done before till it became part of our tradition…

    #1018189

    mazca
    Member

    ?????just because it has not been done before? so that makes it right? I dont understand it.If it wasnt done before it is probably not right or necessary.

    #1018190

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    mazca- do you say “ledovid hashem ori”? do you keep the hakofos on simchat torah? do you say the brocho of “velamashinim”? do you say the lengthy Pyutim on jom kippur/rosh hashana? do you wear a yarmulka (if you are a man)? all of these and countless others had “never been done before’ yet they have become a part of our mitzvos….

    #1018191

    mazca
    Member

    I guess there are customs that came up with time, but truthly I still do not understand why to make women dancing a custom.

    #1018193

    Jothar
    Member

    ROB, if you google the phrases I quoted you can find the original article. Bottom line- he was against it, and until a bigger Talmid chacham approves it, it’s assur.

    #1018194

    mybat
    Member

    ROB are a man or a woman? Why are insisting that the women have to dance? If you are a woman then dance, it doesn’t affect us. If you are a man then I think the women who want to dance can defend themselves, although I don’t know any who do.

    #1018195

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    mybat and also to jothar- if you read my postings, you will see that I do NOT insist that women should dance. Quite the contrary, I specifically said that I do not take any sides on this. All I said was that HALACHACALLY, there is ABSOLUTELY no issur for a woman -at any time, even during her time- to touch (or read) a sefer torah. This is EXPLICIT in the gemoro, the rambam and the shulchan aruch. AND= on that se’if (joreh deah 282) no one argues and there is no “hagohoh’ from the Remo. This clearly indicates that-HALACHACALLY- it is “muttar” and everything else is a ‘minhag”.

    I am not minimizing minhagim but there is a world of difference beteen a “halcha’ and a “minhag”

    #1018196

    Jothar
    Member

    ROB, Rav YB Soloveitchik agrees with you. The problem is hashkafah not halacha. He agrees in essence, but not in degree, to what Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L wrote about women wearing tzitzis.

    #1018197

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    jothar- thank you for your elucidation. I will try to google the relevant articles nonetheless.

    #1018198

    I know one modern shule where the women kept on asking the rov to be able to dance also with the torah on simchas torah. So he asked a bunch a bochrim from lakewood to come in and dance with the Torah so the women could watch them. The women were so impressed witht he way these lakewood bochrim danced with the Torah and they saw the difference between themselves and the men that they never asked to dance with the Torah again after that and were satisfied with watching the men.

    #1018199

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I know one chareidi shule wear the men keep asking why the womin want to dance with thaire teyreh and so the rav brought sum bachuros from yeshivat maharat to dance and then the bochurim saw how they danced woth the teyreh and were so impressed and never wanted to danse with the teyreh again

    #1379060

    zaltzvasser
    Participant

    Anyone know of an Orthodox shul in Brooklyn where women dance on simchas torah?

    #1379087

    Joseph
    Participant

    I know a Conservative shul that does that.

    #1379112

    yid18
    Participant

    When Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was alive, I once attended Hoshana Rabba at night. While the men were
    singing and dancing feverishly, a few women made a circle in the back and also danced. This was ok.
    Men have their mitzvos, and women have theirs. Why would some women feel a need to step into the men’s area? Don’t they have enough of their own? If a few women feel a strong need to dance, they can do that in the women’s section. They don’t have to get a Sefer Torah from the men. If they must have one, let them bring a small one from home. I am certain they can borrow one somewhere.

    #1379122

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    I know lots of boys who dance strictly to show off to the girls and women who are watching them from the other side of the mechitza. Should we ban boys from dancing too because their intent in not strictly to be happy with the torah? Is it our business to judge others both women or men what thier intent really is?

    #1379142

    🎀770Chabad🎀
    Participant

    No ladies dance here in any shul
    Imagine 3,000 ladies trying to dance in a area that fits 800 ladies (aka 770) lol

    #1379148

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There are a number of MO shuls where women dance with the torahs on simchas torah in the varbeshe section of the shul with a mechitza blocking the view. Maybe we should start a website listing those shuls just as we have websites for everything else ….as to why a woman would want to show her ahavas hashem through dancing with a torah, ask a woman…..

    #1379171

    Joseph
    Participant

    Do these MO shuls first insure the women with the Torah are tahor?

    #1379187

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    To Joe:
    Sure….the gabbi sheini stands by the entrance to the ezras nashim with a list provided by the mikvah lady and checks off each woman before allowing her to partiicpate

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