Women and Talmud Torah

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  • #609265

    I’ve seen from recent comments on other threads that many commenters think its bad for women to be learning Torah. My question is, why? How can it be bad for Jews to learn Torah, under any circumstance? I understand halachicallly women are considered not smart enough to learn, and that their limmudim are “Tifllus.” However, in our generation when women are highly educated secularly, get very important jobs, and work outside the home, shouldn’t they also use these opportunities of advancement to learn? It also prevents kefira and going off the derech,

    #951871

    son
    Member

    Not addressing – simply a question on your last line.

    Why are you convinced that it prevents kefira and going off the derech?

    #951872

    charliehall
    Participant

    “How can it be bad for Jews to learn Torah, under any circumstance? “

    It isn’t. Even learning Torah with the wrong motivation will eventually lead to learning Torah with the right motivation.

    “in our generation when women are highly educated secularly, get very important jobs, and work outside the home, shouldn’t they also use these opportunities of advancement to learn?”

    Lots of gedolim have said pretty much just that. Exactly WHAT women should learn is a machloket; Rav Soloveitchik z’tz’l insisted that women learn the same things as men, in the same classes. (Yes, he was a big supporter of co-ed classes and even put it in writing.)

    #951873

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Tifllus is from the shoresh of Tafel, or secondary (like Ikar and Tafel).

    #951874

    son
    Member

    GAW:

    Just a quick aside (not hijack) – I still intend on responding to your question re: bugs – just haven’t had too much opportunity to sit with it. Life, B”H, is busy. 🙂

    #951875

    benignuman
    Participant

    “I understand halachicallly women are considered not smart enough to learn, and that their limmudim are “Tifllus.”

    I don’t think that halachically women are considered “not smart enough to learn.” Nashim daatam kaalos means that women are easily seduced even when intellectually they know it is foolish.

    Nor is their learning considered tiflus. Rather to force them to learn they way we would a boy is considered as if you are teaching them tiflus.

    If a woman voluntarily learns it is a wonderful thing.

    #951876

    Sam2
    Participant

    Charlie: The Rav did not put that in writing and it is a big Machlokes between Marc Shapiro and everyone else whether he actually held that. The vast majority of his Talmidim say that he didn’t.

    #951877

    charliehall
    Participant

    ” The Rav did not put that in writing “

    It was in a private letter that was only made public within the past two years.

    #951878

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I still intend on responding to your question re: bugs – just haven’t had too much opportunity to sit with it.

    No problem.

    #951879

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    many commenters think its bad for women to be learning Torah.

    Really? I don’t think it’s bad for them to earn Torah (they do, after all, say the birchas haTorah, according to Ashkenazic minhag), I think it’s bad for them to consider it the same as a man’s learning, or any sort of “obligation” (beyond knowing halachah).

    I think it’s wrong for them to define their roles in life through talmud Torah (as a man does), and to feel discriminated against by Hashem or Chaza’l for not being granted the same status as men.

    But learning itself? Who would deny that it’s a kiyum mitzvah? Can you link to those comments? I’d like to see them. I’ll call them out for apikorsus.

    #951880

    torahlishma613
    Participant

    rational frummie- if a woman wants to go and learn Torah, than they should go ahead and learn. Like others have already stated, it is a machlokes on what they are allowed to learn, specifically Gemara and schools like bais Yaakov won’t teach Gemara to girls, but more modern places will since the rambam says that a father can’t teach his daughter Gemara and someone who isn’t the father teaching Gemara is okay. But many disagree with him like the shulchan oruch who says women can only learn short summaries and not full in-depth Gemara.

    But is is great if women want to learn other things, and they shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so

    #951881

    benignuman
    Participant

    Torahlishma613,

    Nobody holds that woman are not allowed to learn Gemara. The issue is with teaching them Gemara. A capable woman can learn whatever she wants.

    V’neera li as a davar pashut that if a women comes to a rabbi and asks him to teach her in sincerity, and he finds that she is capable, he should teach her.

    #951882

    simcha613
    Participant

    Torahlishma-

    I don’t think the Shulchan Aruch is that clear that women shouldn’t learn Gemara. While the S”A does say that anyone who teaches their daughter Torah (which we assume to mean Gemara) is as if they were taught tiflus, the S”A also says they receive sechar for learning Torah. If you look inside, it’s very clear that the same Torah that women receive sechar for learning is the same learning that is considered tiflus if taught to her. Obviously there are many ways of reconciling this, but my point is, is that it’s not clear that the S”A says they can’t learn. Why would they receive sechar for doing something they shouldn’t be?

    #951883

    Perhaps for the Shulchan aruch its a bedieved situation- that if a woman is set on learning, even though its not the ideal she gets some s’char.

    #951884

    modex
    Member

    To answer your question find out why virtually all Beis Yaakovs do not teach Gemorah. Neither as a mandatory course nor, even, as an elective course.

    When you have the answer why the Beis Yaakovs decided not to, you will have your answer.

    #951885

    benignuman
    Participant

    I think that it is meduyak from the Shulchan Aruch that he is understanding that the concern is that the majority of women are not suited for learning Gemara. Therefore a father should not require his daughters to learn the Oral Torah (beyond the halachos they need to know).

    However for the minority who are suited for such study it is a wonderful thing if they learn the Oral Torah and if they come and ask to be taught (and you deem them capable and worthy) you should teach them.

    #951886

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Torah learning is good in general.

    However, it is bad for women to be learning Torah instead of doing what Hashem created them to do (being wives, mothers, etc). It is even worse for them to be learning history, science, writing,or working instead of doing what they were created to do. It is also bad for them to be posting on YWN instead of doing what they were created to do.

    But if they are learning Torah in addition to all that, that is good.

    Make sense?

    #951887

    The Shulchan aruch doesn’t say anything you said in your second paragraph. If the mechaber had made this barur, there would be no machlokes!

    #951888

    benignuman
    Participant

    rational,

    That is why it is called a diyuk. M’klal lav attah shomeiya hen.

    #951889

    Toi
    Participant

    we dont want them to learn like adam wasnt supposed to eat from the eitz hadas. this way they stay easy to control.

    #951890

    simcha613
    Participant

    Toi-

    Not sure if you’re serious or not… but if you are, I don’t think that’s what the Shulchan Aruch meant. The S”A clearly says that women receive reward for learning. I don’t think Adam received reward from eating the Eitz HaDaas.

    Rationalfrummie-

    It doesn’t sound like it’s a bedieved. S”A opens up with they receive sechar and only then says that it shouldn’t be taught. If sechar was only if they learned bedieved, I would have expected the S”A to begin with that it shouldn’t be taught to them and only then mention but if they do they still receive reward because it’s Torah.

    Beniguman- That’s how I understand it. Since they aren’t obligated to do it and some aren’t able to it properly, it shouldn’t be imposed on them. However, a woman who is capable and wants to do it (for lishmah reasons, not feminist ones) can and should learn (as long as it’s not coming at the expense of areas of Torah that she is chayav to learn).

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