Why are some people so smart?

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  • #1043664

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “The halachos are the same now as they were then, nothing changed there. We are learning the pertinent halachos the same way it was learnt back then, baal peh (or for some topics, using a kitzur). Why the need for change just because the times changed?”

    I am deliberately trying to keep the two issues seperate. I think you are combining them. Let’s grant that the starting point is that everyone should learn the parts of Torah that are relevant to them, in the best possible way. However, there might be overriding factors. So let’s say that Chazal thought that there were overriding factors that should prevent women from learning. Would it be a fair assumption that if those factors went away then we would be back to the starting point of women learning? This is all independent of whether there are issues nowadays which should COMPEL women to learn.

    #1043665

    benignuman
    Participant

    PAA,

    Nishtanah HaTevah is something that is used to describe clear physical changes from the times of Chazal until now (like vest kavuah or the size of olives/fingers). The problem with minds is that we can’t know what the tevah was in the past, or if any change that has occurred is sufficient to necessitate a change in education policy.

    That being said, it is clear from the Rambam and Jewish history, that even in the past there were women of exceptional Torah scholarship who learned kol haTorah kula. Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion should therefore be viewed as a general rule, but for the exceptional woman who is highly motivated, she can and should learn (as an ainah metzuva v’osah). Query whether the percentage of exceptional women is higher today than it was in the past.

    #1043666

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    If women nowadays are not demonstrably inferior then that should be grounds to invoke nishtaneh hateva

    #1043667

    ui (Joseph)
    Member

    You would have to demonstrate that they are aren’t, not vice versa, in order to consider any changes to the existing standards. (Besides that it is known even today that there are differences in intellectual strengths between the genders.) Secondly, the idea that the prohibition was established due to a lack of education is only a presumption of yours.

    #1043668

    benignuman
    Participant

    PAA,

    Assuming for the sake of argument that the basis for Rabbi Eliezer’s statement is some sort of inferiority, we would first have to know what aspect of the typical female psyche/mind/soul is inferior, in order to evaluate whether anything changed. Furthermore, one would expect that the onus would be on those claiming that there was a change to demonstrate that it has occurred.

    #1043669

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    I’m not claiming that the concept of nishtaneh hateva can prove that women now are capable of learning. What I am saying is that the concept of nishtaneh hateva should prove that one cannot say that the metzius can’t change because Chazal said what they said etc. But what it would come down to would be solely a debate as to what the current metzius is, which shouldn’t cause any raised blood pressure.

    #1043670

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    PAA, if you assume that it wasn’t recommended for women to learn for lack of intelligence in some measurable quantity, it’s possible to say nishtana hateva. I don’t think we assume that way; rather we assume that it’s some subtle difference in how women and men process and analyze certain types of information, which we can’t quantify, so the same gedarim apply nowadays as did in the times of Chazal, and women learning Torah shebaal peh has it’s limitations.

    #1043671

    Joseph
    Participant

    PAA: You’re basically saying that the concept of nishtaneh hateva proves that any metzius Chazal used to codify a halacha can have changed since their time, thus nullifying the halacha by simply engaging in a debate whether the metzius used changed? Where do you draw the line?

    And how do you even determine what metzius Chazal used to codify a halacha and whether they in fact based it on a metzius or rather only used a metzius to explain a halacha that is in reality binding irregardless of the metzius which was only given as an explanation for a set halacha [i.e. isn’t given as a basis (causatively) but as a ta’am]? We don’t pasken based on ta’amei hamitzvos.

    #1043672

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “PAA: You’re basically saying that the concept of nishtaneh hateva proves that any metzius Chazal used to codify a halacha can have changed since their time, thus nullifying the halacha by simply engaging in a debate whether the metzius used changed? Where do you draw the line?”

    Yes it does prove that the metzius could change. You can debate the metzius on any issue in which the metzius is debatable.

    “And how do you even determine what metzius Chazal used to codify a halacha and whether they in fact based it on a metzius or rather only used a metzius to explain a halacha that is in reality binding irregardless of the metzius which was only given as an explanation for a set halacha [i.e. isn’t given as a basis (causatively) but as a ta’am]? We don’t pasken based on ta’amei hamitzvos.”

    Generally speaking, when the Rabanan create a halacha, decree etc. it is because of a metzius; they don’t use a metzius to explain the halacha because there had to have been a reason to create the halacha in the first place.

    #1043673

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    It’s still a machlokes in metzius. One side holds that women’s performance in all other areas demonstrates that they are as capable as men, whereas the other side holds that it doesn’t. Besides, you can’t really make the halacha based on something unquantifiable because then you can’t apply it – for example how could you quantify whether an individual woman is an exception?

    #1043674

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t agree with the first part of your post. How do we have the right to assume that other areas of performance are related to learning TSBP? That’s not a machlokes in metziys, that’s an assumed metzius based on extrapolation, with a huge “meiheicha teisi”.

    As far as applying it, we do it the same as historically was done. As I understand it, we don’t encourage it, yet, we don’t stop a woman who is so inclined, but we don’t go out of our way to help.

    #1043676

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    It’s interesting because the Gemara in Sotah doesn’t mention anything about differences between men and women.

    #1043677

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “PAA, what’s wrong with the halacha as it is and has always been that there is this itch to change it?”

    That is the other issue which until now I was not addressing. But now I will discuss it briefly. I would suggest that there are several problems with the current system of girls learning (primarily speaking about halacha/hashkafa as opposed to Tanach).

    1)Girls are not taught to understand; they are taught to memorize a list of rules which (to them) doesn’t really mean anything and often probably seems to not be sensible.If they would learn Gemara with the Rishonim/Acharonim/Poskim they would be understanding instead of memorizing. They would see how the process works – e.g. they would see how a halacha is based off a memra in the Gemara which provides a scriptural source and then the Rishonim debate the pshat in the Gemara and then the Acharonim conclude as to which we Rishonim we should be choshesh for and which Rishonim we shouldn’t be choshesh for. This brings an entire new world to light for girls. (This same problem might exist for boys also, depending on how they learn/are taught.

    2)Without learning Gemara you are really lacking the basics and fundamentals of understanding Judaism. This point is a little hard to express but I think Bais Yaakov Maidel said something similar in the (in)famous thread a while back.

    3)Without having any background/knowledge in Gemara, a girl is at the mercy of any one who quotes her anything. If a girl hears someone quoting a Gemara, she has no way to know if the quote is real, if it is being taken out of context, if it is being misunderstood, or if it is being abused to further someone’s agenda. I see this all the time.

    I realize that some of these points sort of overlap. Also this is just a brief touch on something which is rather hard to explain but I tried.

    #1043678

    Joseph
    Participant

    Those three points don’t address the question you quoted. Was something different until now?

    #1043679

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The things you mentioned would be true in the times of Chazal as well, especially #2.

    #1043680

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    Lior and DaasYochid:

    There was a very big change from the times of Chazal. Ayin Likutei Halachos on the Gemara in Sotah. This is just taking that idea a step further. (Granted R’ Yoel in very strong terms made a chiluk between certain types of learning e.g. Gemara, where there was mamesh an Issur)

    Because part of point 1 and 2 is that (specifically) a contemporary girl’s exposure to other Chachmos will likely cause her to perceive the Torah as lacking in many areas, simply because they don’t have any real hasaga of what Torah is.

    #1043681

    Joseph
    Participant

    When did this change you speak of occur? After the establishment of the bais yaakov system? If not the kasha on you still remains as to why this change was not implemented earlier in history or certainly at the latest when the BY was established.

    Are you referring to R’ Yoel the Divrei Yoel? He strongly writes girls today shouldn’t even learn Rashi as it is ???? ???? ??.

    #1043682

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “When did this change you speak of occur? After the establishment of the bais yaakov system? If not the kasha on you still remains as to why this change was not implemented earlier in history or certainly at the latest when the BY was established.”

    I would venture to say that there has been a bigger change from 1917 to today then from Chazal to 1917. Look at the life of a girl today especially in terms of general education and interaction with the world. Also, even if 1917 was the same as today (which it wasn’t) starting Bais Yaakov was enough of a chiddush as it was. They may have felt Tafasta Meruba Lo Tafasta.

    Yes I am referring to the Divrei Yoel. He quotes the Chofetz Chaim and very severely limits what it would apply to.

    #1043683

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    I forgot one of my main points in my list of problems with the system of girls not learning Gemara:

    4)There is no goal within Judaism for girls to strive for. Once they come back from seminary it’s basically over. They spend the rest of their lives helping other people accomplish things but never have a chance to accomplish something real themselves. For some, this can be very disenchanting. Boys on the other hand, constantly have something to aspire to – mastering the ever growing corpus of shas and poskim. Every masechta they finish is a real accomplishment. Girls won’t ever really get that feeling.

    On a similar note, when girls need something to do they have very few options and will often end up wasting a day watching movies or something. If they learned Gemara, they would always have something to do. (Obviously this doesn’t mean that they would use all their spare time to learn; it means that in the overall scheme of things they will spend more time learning and less time doing things that can get them into trouble.)

    #1043684

    Sam2
    Participant

    PAA: I once saw someone “Pasken” that it’s better for a girl to watch tv than to open up one of her father’s Seforim. She asked because all she wanted to do after getting home from school and being bored was learn. I was quite quite disgusted with that “Rav”.

    #1043685

    yerushalmi in exile
    Participant

    a yungerman once asked Rav Shach Ztl if his wife can go to a shuir to learn, since at the age of 40 she is not a risk of going off the derech if she will not learn torah. Rav Shach answered that “now that we’ve made our girls into boys, (by teaching them this much) a girl needs to learn torah to get a sipuk in yidishkite” i don’t know however if gemorah is the answer

    #1043686

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “since at the age of 40 she is not a risk of going off the derech if she will not learn torah”

    Where does that idea come from?

    #1043687

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “PAA: I once saw someone “Pasken” that it’s better for a girl to watch tv than to open up one of her father’s Seforim. She asked because all she wanted to do after getting home from school and being bored was learn. I was quite quite disgusted with that “Rav”.”

    Maybe the psak was specifically in regards to her father’s seforim.

    #1043688

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    I forgot to mention one of my other reasons:

    5)When they get old and infirm they will have something to do.

    #1043689

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    The Maharil (Teshuvos Chadashos siman 45) said the Derisha’s point well before the Derisha said it:

    ??? ???? ?? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????”? ????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ????’ ????? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?? ?? ??? ????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ????

    #1043690

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    Tosefta Berachos 2:12:

    ????? ?????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ????? ????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???????

    #1043691

    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    Could someone please post the link to Bais Yaakov Maydel’s infamous thread?

    #1043692

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant
    #1043693

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    The Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe (taken from Shulchan Hamelech Chelek 3 1:14):

    ???? ?? ?? ?????? ??”? ????? ????? ??? ????? ???”? ???? ??????? ??? ?????? ???????? ?????? ??????”? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?? ???????? ??”? ??”? ????”? ?”? ??????? ??????? ?? ????? ????(????? ?? ??? ?”? ??”? ????”? ????? ?????? ??????) ???? ????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?????

    ??????? ????? ????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?? ??? ?????? ?????

    (????? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ?????? (?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ??’ ????”? ?????? ???????? ???? ????? (‘????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ????(?? ????? ??’ ???’ ????? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ??????? ????? ????? ??’ ????? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ?????

    ???? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ????”? (???? ?? ????? ??????

    ??????? ???) ????? ?????”? ?????? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??? ??? “???? ??? ???????” ??? ?? ?? ???? ????? ????? ?????”? ??? ????? ??? ?”? ??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????”? ?? ?? ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ????”? ?????? ????? ???? (??? ?? ???) ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ?? ???”? ???’ ???? ??????? ?????? ????????? (“???????”) ???? ?????? ??????

    [emphasis added]

    ????? ?? ?????? ????? ????? ???????? ????? ????? ?????? (???? ?? ?????? ??????? ???) ?? ??? ????? ???? ??”? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ???? ?????

    ?????? ????? ?? ??? ????????? ????? ??????? ???????? ??”? ?????? ?????? ???) ????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ???? ???”? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ???”? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????

    ??? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ????????

    ???? ??”? ?”????? ???”(????’) ???? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ????

    ?? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ?????? (??? ????? ??? ?”?????” ???? ???????) ?”????? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ??'” ?

    He doesn’t specifically mention Gemara, but the general thrust of what he is saying would include it.

    #1043694

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    I wonder if the Seridei Eish’s words would apply here.

    Kisvei Hagaon R’ Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg 1:32:

    ????? ????”? ?? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ??? ???”?

    #1043695

    streekgeek
    Participant

    This thread seems to be the place that PAA can say whatever he wants and no one responds…

    PAA – You mind explaining what you’re saying the past few posts? I liked where this thread was heading till I got lost and didn’t understand what was flying…

    #1043696

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    This thread seems to be the place that PAA can say whatever he wants and no one responds…

    I have a few of those.

    Anyway, to explain my last few posts:

    We had been discussing whether women can’t/shouldn’t/can/should/must learn advanced Torah Sheba’al Peh and specifically Gemara. I quoted a few sources. I quoted the Maharil as a source that the problem of Tiflus does not apply if the girl wants to learn on her own. I quoted the Tosefta as a source that women in general can learn Torah Shba’al Peh (although it’s not necessarily the best source because one can simply say that the Tosefta is the opinion of Ben Azzai whereas we pasken like R’ Eliezer*). And I quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe as a source for the idea that since women nowadays are highly educated in all other areas, they must be highly educated in Torah Sheba’al Peh as well. Finally I quoted the Seridei Eish because if we grant that it is at least a machlokes about whether women can learn advanced Torah Sheba’al Peh, then perhaps we should apply his idea that we should pasken the machlokes against the side which is for lack of a better term “offensive to some people’s sensibilities” and may cause them to mock the Torah. Feel free to disagree with any of my extrapolations/conclusions.

    * Referring to the original machlokes tannaim in the mishnah in Sotah 20a wherein Ben Azzai says that one is obligated to teach his daughter Torah and R’ Eliezer says that teaching your daughter Torah is as if you teach her tiflus.

    #1043697

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Surely the Seridei Eish didn’t mean people who would ch”v mock the Torah because they have absorbed secular (in this case liberal) values.

    #1043698

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    Don’t know (what you mean by that).

    #1043699

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    He’aros Chagiga 3a (R’ Elyashiv):

    (In its context this is being used as part of an attempted answer which is rejected because it doesn’t work to answer the particular question. I.e. the rejection was not because the concept isn’t true.)

    ???”? ??? ????? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??????? ???”? ??”? ?”? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ??????

    #1043700

    bc i am bc thats the way Hashem made me

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