???? on women. Not trolling this time.

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  • #596753

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Somebody recently showed me a few pieces from the ralbag, which I found highly disturbing.

    A. He says regarding chava’s name, that ?? ?? ?? refers to the fact that she is better than the animals who are the ??. But not as good as odom.

    B. He says that Hashem did not care as much when making chava, because she is just there to assist odom. That is why women have more health problems than men, and more day to day issues. (or month to month).

    This to me is the most disturbing one.

    C. He says that women don’t wear tzitzis because the inyan of tzitzis is very deep, and women don’t have the ??? necessary for it.

    Now, here is my general thoughts on the matter:

    Why does it bother us that the ralbag says things like that? Why does it bother us when anybody says things like that?

    Is it impossible that men really are more intellectual than women? Why should it be impossible? Women are more able to feel and understand emotion, maybe there are some things men are better at. Men are better at directions and maps, maybe they are better at math. Or maybe women are better at math. Maybe men really do have more of whatever ??? is. Maybe men really do have more of whatever is required to understand tzitzis.

    The answer is, that when people say things like that, it usually is not a truthful observation, rather, it is an attempt to degrade the other class of people, to justify subjugating them, or looking down on them.

    Whites said blacks were stupid. They said the native americans were stupid. Germans said russians were stupid, nobility said the peasants were stupid, and so on.

    Dominant classes say the lower classes are stupid in order to justify being better.

    So, if Ralbag is doing that, then certainly it should bother us.

    I cannot believe the Ralbag is saying it for that type of reason. Ralbag was a rishon, he was a tzadik, a talmid chochom. There is nobody in our generation who compares with him even nearly.

    If Ralbag says men have more ???, it is because he really thought so. Maybe he is right, and maybe he is wrong, but that is just a question of fact, not of his intentions.

    That is what I think about the tzitzis one. About the one with the not caring as much when Hashem made women, I need to still consider.

    #766033

    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    uh, oh.

    Here we go again

    The boy who cried wolf (not as in “the Wolf”) (or maybe yes)

    #766034

    LOL PBA! You must be very bored.

    1. This is fascinating and enlightening. It does not bother me at all in and of itself.

    2. Men are definitely more intellectual than women – as a whole. Even emotional men, are more intellectual than emotional women. In addition, the monthly cycles force even the most intellectual women to deal with their emotions at times. This reminds us that our job in life is to be an Ezer Knegdo.

    3. Men might take this to mean that being an Ezer K’negdo means that a woman’s job is to serve them hand and foot. Is the Ralbag actually saying that? As a woman, I think the Ralbag is saying that a man has to be considerate of a woman. She does not feel fulfilled unless she is married, and also has to deal with different things that make her feel not so well at times. A husband cannot expect his wife to always serve him, even though, deep down, she wants to feel fulfilled by doing so. I wonder if this was an issue in the Ralbag’s time.

    4. As for the Sechel issue – I once commented in real life that women shouldn’t be judges, because hormonal fluctuations can affect a person’s perception of the case. Everyone got angry at me, so I won’t pursue that line of reasoning here.

    5. As for Hashem not caring, the way you put it makes it sound like Hashem doesn’t care about women, as much as He cares about men. In my ignorant opinion, this doesn’t mean our Tefilos and Mitzvos are any less valuable. Hashem is perfect and so are all His creations – we were made imperfect, because we always want to be fulfilled by men. This is our perfection.

    Men don’t have much motivation unless there is a women encouraging them. Without men, women are lonely and imperfect, but still accomplish. Without women, men are just struggling through the day. The Ralbag was not trying to degrade women, he was writing for men. (Proof: I’d never heard of that Ralbag, until you brought it up.)

    OK now back to the paper I’ve been working on!

    #766035

    TikkunHatzot
    Member

    Alright, my spin on this is 12+13=5^2

    As you can see we have 2 completery DIFFERENT sets of numbers on either side of the equation.

    Also, the “numbers” on the left side (12&13) are much GREATER than what’s on the right side(5&2; which are LESSER).

    However, the right side is EQUAL to the left side.

    My take on all of this is that BOTH MEN & WOMAN are DIFFERENT, GREATER/LESSER & EQUAL.

    #766037

    charliehall
    Participant

    “That is why women have more health problems than men”

    This is a highly dubious statement; in almost every country, women are longer-lived than men.

    “He says that women don’t wear tzitzis because the inyan of tzitzis is very deep”

    Halachically, women can wear tzitzit. Why women have taken on some mitzvot for which they are patur such as shofar, but not others such as tzitzit, requires further research.

    “Men are definitely more intellectual than women – as a whole.”

    That may no longer be the case; women now outnumber men in all levels of higher education enrollment.

    “I once commented in real life that women shouldn’t be judges, because hormonal fluctuations can affect a person’s perception of the case.”

    It doesn’t seem to have hurt Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, or Elana Kagan. They may all be postmenopausal, though. In any case, in a universally accepted tshuvah, Rav Uziel z’tz’l pointed out that a woman CAN be a Dayan on a beit din for a property dispute as long as both parties to the case accept here. That has not happened since no woman has earned yadin yadin semichah but it might at some point in the future.

    “The Ralbag was not trying to degrade women, he was writing for men.”

    All the rishonim were writing for men, as women didn’t have opportunity to learn Torah back then. Baruch HaShem that has changed! In any case, medieval Christian and Muslim attitudes towards women were far more negative.

    #766038

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Halachically, women can wear tzitzit

    I’m not sure what you are trying to get at. The ralbag is discussing why the mitzva is only incumbent on men. It is only incumbent on men.

    #766039

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    “That is why women have more health problems than men”

    This is a highly dubious statement; in almost every country, women are longer-lived than men.

    I’m just paraphrasing what he says. Take it up with him.

    As it happens, my observation is that he is correct. Women are at the doctor 5 times as often as men. (which may also have to do with why they outlive us.)

    #766040

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    All Torah Scholars were affected by the philosophy of their generations.

    #766041

    charliehall
    Participant

    “The ralbag is discussing why the mitzva is only incumbent on men. “

    That is not what you wrote. Did you misrepresent Ralbag?

    “Take it up with him.”

    No need; the halachah is that we follow doctors, not sages, in medical matters.

    #766042

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    All Torah Scholars were affected by the philosophy of their generations.

    Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    But so what. Do you think they were misogynists? I cannot believe that.

    #766043

    flyer
    Participant

    “As it happens, my observation is that he is correct. Women are at the doctor 5 times as often as men. (which may also have to do with why they outlive us.)”

    THat is because women have two doctors per year they have to go to and men one and men don’t have babies!!!

    #766044

    am i supposed to be depressed now?

    #766045

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Are you sure this is a legitimate Ralbag? Did you read it yourself inside, or are you relying on someone else’s report/translation? You can hear a lot of very “interesting” things quoted in the name of some gadol that are chiefly in the mind of the quoter.

    #766046

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I read it myself. Two of the things I quoted are in breishis, and the one about tzitzis is on the parsha of tzitzis.

    I would post a hebrewbooks link, but they don’t have a good copy.

    #766047

    wanderingchana
    Participant

    “Not trolling this time” – so you admit you were trolling before?

    #766048

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    am i supposed to be depressed now?

    I am not a bird. I cannot fly. Am I depressed. That is not my tafkid so I’ll do what I’m created to do. ????? ?????? – I was created in a fashion that HaShem deemed perfect to suit my job. No additional accessories needed. Nor wanted!

    #766049

    oomis
    Participant

    OH BROTHER!!!!!!

    Even if I accept that SOME men have more seichel than SOME women, women are more intuitive, more highly attuned to nuance, and have bina yesaira. Men do not. And SO WHAT!!!!!!!

    #766050

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Even if I accept that SOME men have more seichel than SOME women, women are more intuitive, more highly attuned to nuance, and have bina yesaira. Men do not. And SO WHAT!!!!!!!

    Yes. That is exactly what I am saying.

    I can accept that men and women are not identical, and that each have different strengths and weaknesses, even beyond the obvious physical strengths and weaknesses. That is why I can accept that men have more “???”, whatever that is, and it does not offend me.

    I am curios though, why you say “even if I accept that SOME men”, while at the same time you posit absolutely that “women are more intuitive…”

    #766051

    “That may no longer be the case; women now outnumber men in all levels of higher education enrollment.”

    Yes, but that level drops once you reach actual achievement in the field. Those at the top of any scientific field are generally male.

    “It doesn’t seem to have hurt Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, or Elana Kagan. They may all be postmenopausal, though. In any case, in a universally accepted tshuvah, Rav Uziel z’tz’l pointed out that a woman CAN be a Dayan on a beit din for a property dispute as long as both parties to the case accept here. That has not happened since no woman has earned yadin yadin semichah but it might at some point in the future.”

    OK, but for life and death and things that are morally reprehensible, a person who MAY be emotionally affected shouldn’t be judging the case.

    “All the rishonim were writing for men, as women didn’t have opportunity to learn Torah back then. Baruch HaShem that has changed! In any case, medieval Christian and Muslim attitudes towards women were far more negative.”

    If his wife had been reading it, I have a feeling it would have been worded somewhat differently. That doesn’t mean it’s not essentially true.

    #766052

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Not trolling this time = Nisht in Shabbos Geredt..

    #766053

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    SJSinNYC

    always pleasant

    All Torah Scholars were affected by the philosophy of their generations.

    You Kofer!!!

    LOL, but most people here would have said it had they noticed, even though you are right.

    #766054

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    popa_bar_abba,

    He says that Hashem did not care as much when making chava, because she is just there to assist odom. That is why women have more health problems than men, and more day to day issues. (or month to month).

    This to me is the most disturbing one.

    And later you said:

    I’m just paraphrasing what he says. Take it up with him.

    A paraphrase is not a literal translation. It is a rewording done usually to explain another’s concept in one’s own terms. Are you sure you haven’t interjected your own interpretation of the Ralbag’s comments into your paraphrase? Perhaps you can post the actual text of the comments?

    Specifically, do you think that Ralbag meant to say that Hashem would create something “buggy”, G-d forbid, due to lack of care (i.e., attention to detail) in the “process”, which implies fallibility? Somehow I don’t think so, but that is what your paraphrase suggests. I would think that the Ralbag would agree that every aspect of Hashem’s creation was done purposefully.

    Healthy women in general experience more physical pain and weakness than equivalently healthy men due to their makeup. I don’t think anyone here would disagree with that statement. That this is related to a woman being a helper against Adam makes for an interesting discussion. I don’t see why misogyny needs to be injected into that discussion, however.

    #766055

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Avram:

    Maybe I’m being hypersensitive, but your tone and style seems a little accusatory?

    You juxtapose my words as if there is some contradiction or new revelation from my later words. I thought it was clear that my first post was not a direct translated quote.

    In any event, I don’t have a ????, and it is really hard to find it on hebrew books, since they have a really old edition.

    Why don’t you put it up? It is in breishis.

    #766056

    Pac-Man
    Member

    Popa, I think some posters are being hypersensitive because expectations and secular societal practices have changed, especially in regards to male/female interactions. I once learned a Rambam based on a gemorah (and I’m sure other meforshim too say the same) in school that says a wife is obligated to serve her husband by making his bed, washing him, and in general do what he asks her. Try explaining that today and some people will get all offended. I think a large part of the reason is because many people never learnt of these duties. I always felt education is the key to understanding.

    #766057

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Maybe I’m being hypersensitive, but your tone and style seems a little accusatory?

    You juxtapose my words as if there is some contradiction or new revelation from my later words. I thought it was clear that my first post was not a direct translated quote.

    I did not intend to accuse you of passing off your paraphrase as a literal translation, and I’m sorry that my tone came across as accusatory to you. I quoted the portion of your OP that I wished to discuss, and then I quoted your later words because they contained the best representation of what I objected to (I paraphrased…[but] take it up with him).

    In any event, I don’t have a ????, and it is really hard to find it on hebrew books, since they have a really old edition.

    Why don’t you put it up? It is in breishis.

    I’m in the same boat as you, probably more so since I’ve not heard of these comments, but since I’m not making the “disturbing” assertion, the burden of proof is luckily not on me:-)

    BTW, on a more accusatory note (ha ha)… what do you make of the pasuk in Parshas Emor which we just read last week, Vayikra 24:10, which makes a reference to an isha Yisraelis?

    #766058

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    It’s ok. No harm, no foul.

    BTW, on a more accusatory note (ha ha)… what do you make of the pasuk in Parshas Emor which we just read last week, Vayikra 24:10, which makes a reference to an isha Yisraelis?

    Ummmmmm. I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I’m very busy, as you can see. Maybe next year.

    #766059

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    LOL GAW

    Popa, I don’t think Ralbag was a misogynist. But he was influenced by his surrounding. Women weren’t educated in his generation and as such were ignorant in many ways. And yes, its likely that his feeling of superiority over women stems from that.

    You can’t really compare certain aspects of thought/philosophy to today.

    #766060

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    SJS:

    In that case, we agree.

    I don’t think I need to follow this ralbag. It does not really accord with what I have heard from my rebbeim, and in any event, it has no practical application.

    What bothered me was the possibility that he was being misogynistic.

    #766061

    Pac-Man
    Member

    I don’t think the Ralbag was merely commenting on the sociological conditions of his time. For one thing he is citing Chava. For another he is discussing the reason for tzitzis, and the reason wasn’t because of his contemporary conditions (as the halacha long predated him.) And for another, his discussion isn’t the contemporary sociological conditions.

    #766062

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I think someone is being “toleh buki sruki” on the head of the Ralbag. Where is this alledged Ralbag so that we can learn it for ourselves?

    #766063

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I think someone is being “toleh buki sruki” on the head of the Ralbag. Where is this alledged Ralbag so that we can learn it for ourselves?

    What did I do to deserve that remark?

    Did you try looking where I said to?

    #766064

    TikkunHatzot
    Member

    I think someone is being “toleh buki sruki” on the head of the Ralbag.

    Can someone “paraphrase” that for me?

    #766065

    good.jew
    Member

    Considering the fact the Popa has Smicha, it would seem pretty unlikely that he would make this up.

    #766066

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Poppa. Do you think I’m going to look “in bereishis” for a Ralbag? Perhaps next year, when I have more time.

    #766067

    The fact that the woman was created from the man’s rib seems to suggest the male’s superiority over the female. This is the understanding, for example, of Ralbag:

    “Woman was created from man, because he is the reason for her existence, that is to say, she was created to serve him… She was created from him, so that she should be more obedient to him and perform the services that he requires… This is not the case regarding other living creatures. And for this reason they were created together from one place.” (Ralbag, Commentary to the Torah)

    At the end of the passage, Ralbag argues that it is only in the human species that the female is inferior to the male. Hence, it was only the man who was created alone without his wife, she being created only afterwards. [This explanation is also found in Ra’avad’s “Ba’alei HaNefesh,”]

    The Ba’alei HaTosafos explained that it was because of her inferiority and subservience to her husband that the woman was created from his rib:

    “There is a difficulty: why was the woman created from a rib, and not some other organ? So that she should be bent at the ribs and subservient to her husband.” (Ba’alei HaTosafos Al HaTorah)

    #766068

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    apushatayid,

    Look at perek gimmel, pasuk tes-zayin and chof (Mossad Harav Kook – pg. samech gimmel – samech daled.

    The term he uses is “lo hushg’chah”, which popa translated as “did not care as much”. I think the true meaning becomes obscured with that translation.

    The part of this discussion which disturbs me the most is the contention that somehow the rishonim were more influenced in their thinking by contemporary thought than we are. The opposite is of course true. I think, however, that the reality we live with forces us to live differently than the ideal (as HKB”H created the world).

    As an example, the idea of “avdus” is completely anathema to us and is wholly inconsistent with our sense of fairness. Yet, the Torah clearly believes in it.

    I think as our generations continue, the human condition deteriorates, so that it is indeed inappropriate; the difference in level between classes becomes insufficient to support “avdus”. As well, the “superior” class is unable to treat the “lower” class in the proper manner, and is therefore unworthy of the privilege.

    This idea also applies to our discussion. Although the role of woman was meant to be as “ezer” to man (and still is, although in a different, less literal sense), the practical manifestation of this in the manner described by Ralba”g is only appropriate when man deserves it, and when woman appreciates her role as not being degrading inasmuch as this was the purpose of her creation. Both of these factors do not apply today; the first because man is unworthy, and the second because of contemporary societal norms which have affected us.

    Hence, popa’s rebbeim instruct him, and rightfully so, to teat his wife as an equal.

    Ralba”g seems to attribute woman’s inferior “sechel” not to lesser potential, but rather to her inability to develop it due to her preoccupation carrying out her tasks as “ezer”. This is wholly consistent with the high level of intelligence and education found in today’s women (which is an additional reason in and of itself for the relationship between man and woman to have changed).

    #766069

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I think as our generations continue, the human condition deteriorates, so that it is indeed inappropriate; the difference in level between classes becomes insufficient to support “avdus”. As well, the “superior” class is unable to treat the “lower” class in the proper manner, and is therefore unworthy of the privilege.

    Hate to say it, but you can apply this logic to all mitzvos (which are given to yidden due to being superior, famous mashel with the two sick people and their diet, etc.)

    Then you turn Reform.

    And if you owned an Eved in Saudi Arabia (where it is semi-legal), or in the Antebellum South (before the war of Northern Aggression), you would have all dinim of Eved Canaanni. But your logic says throw the halacha out, we are too modern for such things.

    Reform.

    #766070

    TikkunHatzot
    Member

    I’m still wondering what “I think someone is being “toleh buki sruki” on the head of the Ralbag” means. Anyone?

    #766071

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    hanging bags of rubbish? (I forget the exact translation)

    Basically stating something in his name, with him never having said it.

    #766072

    charliehall
    Participant

    “or in the Antebellum South (before the war of Northern Aggression), you would have all dinim of Eved Canaanni. But your logic says throw the halacha out, we are too modern for such things.”

    In fact, the first Reform synagogue in the US was in Charleston, SC, and many of the members were slaveowners.

    #766073

    charliehall
    Participant

    “that level drops once you reach actual achievement in the field. Those at the top of any scientific field are generally male.”

    That is to be expected given that few women pursued advanced scientific training until recently. Re-analyze the data a few decades from now.

    And there have indeed been some women at the top. Here is one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalyn_Sussman_Yalow

    I belong to the (orthodox) synagogue in the Bronx where she was a long time member. The social hall has been named for her.

    #766074

    TikkunHatzot
    Member

    gavra_at_work, thanks!

    #766075

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Buki Sruki, if I’m not mistaken, are empty bottles. Basicly ascribing something to someone, when they never said it.

    I’m curious what the Ralbag says on the passuk of “vidavak B’Ishto”. Why should a man cling to his wife who is inferior to him, and why would the Ralbag stand for something like that if he was a misogynist? surely, if these ideas ascribed to the Ralbag are true, he would have something to say about this.

    #766076

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    GAW,

    I was not c”v saying to throw out the halacha, I was merely suggesting a possible reason why the RS”O arranged things this way. The basic idea which I expressed about avdus is something which I heard in the name of a gadol (whose name I won’t mention because I can’t confirm the statement).

    The Ralba”g is not saying that the relationship between man and wife (as he describes it) is a halacha, it’s a law of (human) nature.

    #766077

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY:

    Would make an interesting statement, that the European Jews were not on the level to own slaves, but the Southerners were.

    I would like to have seen it in print.

    #766078

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I’m curious what the Ralbag says on the passuk of “vidavak B’Ishto”.

    ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ?????, ??? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????

    In other word, because he needs her so much.

    #766080

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    GAW,

    The way I actually heard it is that humanity sunk to the level of arur C’na’an.

    I don’t think the fully developed idea should be in print; v’hameivin yovin.

    Of course, since I can’t quote a source, anyone is free to question the accuracy and veracity of the quote, but it’s worth contemplating.

    #766081

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “In other word, because he needs her so much.”

    So, to take it to its logical conclusion. If everything attributed to the Ralbag is true, how pathetic must men be that they are so reliant on women (who have been described as “inferior to the male”)!

    #766082

    Pac-Man
    Member

    Are you upset with what the Ralbag and the Baalei HaTosfos said, or are you upset that it was said out loud?

    #766083

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ????, ??? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????

    This is the correct version, sorry about the earlier typo.

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