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    The Torah’s dictum that a husband is the authority, is not limited to minhugim. In fact, it has nothing to do with minhugim — as regarding minhugim both the husband and wife are bound to them regardless. The husband doesn’t impose his minhgim – the wife is naturally bound to her husbands family’s minhugim per halacha.

    The authority Rav Miller was speaking of is in general. And Rav Miller didn’t make this stuff up, nor is he the only one to say so. See the Shulchan Aruch cited earlier.


    Oh my…here we go…all over again from the beginning…around and around in circles we go…


    Feminist Goals and Halachah: The Teachings of Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l

    In sum, the axiomatic equality of men and women must be properly understood. Unlike its mathematical counterpart, ontological equality is not expressed in sameness or identity. While the Torah, assuredly, does not discriminate against men or women, undoubtedly it does discriminate between them. The two genders profoundly differ physically, emotionally and psychologically. Though contemporary Western society and thought decry this politically incorrect notion, it remains an unalterable fact of God’s creation.20 Little wonder, then, if the Torah has delineated somewhat different tasks to the profoundly differing genders.

    Feminism, by contrast, axiomatically asserts that men and women must be offered identical roles and opportunities. While understanding and empathizing with the struggles of modern women, we must unabashedly and unequivocally teach that this feminist demand within the religious sphere is irreconcilable with Torah norms and values. The vast unbridgeable chasm that divides divine Torah norms and values from, l’havdil, their secular, feminist counterparts has generated and continues to fuel the present crisis. Rampant, misleading rhetoric has confused the contemporary debate on Orthodoxy and feminism and camouflaged the core issue. All disclaimers and declarations of halachic fealty not withstanding, the premise and many positions of feminism are essentially incompatible with our mesorah (tradition).

    A fundamental, fateful decision confronts us. Do we seek to manipulate and inevitably, ultimately violate halachah to accommodate our secular orientation or do we strive to acclimate and reorient ourselves to halachah? Case in point: do we presumptuously challenge the provision which disqualifies women from positions of formal religious authority and demand the ordination of women, or do we unqualifiedly submit to halachah and intensify our efforts to appreciate, internalize, and implement its norms and values? Do we allow external contemporary fashions to make spurious demands on the Torah, or do we permit the Torah’s teachings concerning women to mold our thinking and energize our initiatives? In truth, there is no choice. We must forego the popular appeal and instantaneous gratification of the path of religious accomodationism, and opt for the more arduous, yet divinely authentic path of Torah.

    Recent feminist pronouncements vividly demonstrate the inherent dangers and ultimate direction of the movement. For example, some feminists have adopted the slogan, “Where there is a rabbinic will, there is a halachic way.” Students of halachah immediately recognize the patent falsehood of this claim; students of history easily discern a classical manifestation of reformist ideology and tactics. The intermingling of bona fide causes, both general and feminine, such as communal Talmud Torah and women’s Torah education with such insidious slogans creates a dangerously deceptive sense of legitimacy for such illegitimate pronouncements. The involvement of Orthodox personages with the feminist movement and its anti-Orthodox slogans has a similarly confusing and deleterious effect. It is incumbent upon all of us to expose and disassociate ourselves from such destructive slogans, as false as they are flashy, which are devoid of halachic validity, historical accuracy, and theological substance.

    The issue of agunot is far too complex to be treated within the present article, and thus only the following observation is possible. Undoubtedly there is a halachic imperative which great rabbis have implemented throughout the generations that all legitimate halachic measures be adopted and resources marshaled to rescue agunot by securing a get. Nevertheless, the establishment of an unqualified beit-din (as recently announced) to annul marriages can only yield catastrophic consequences. Spurious dispensations, based on halachically invalid annulments, will not alleviate, but only compound, the tragedy of agunot by allowing wrongful marriages. The result would be (unintentional) adultery and mamzerut.

    Upholding traditional Torah norms and values does not bespeak insensitivity to or disrespect for women. Accordingly, the Torah’s perspective of dissimilar equality must forever guide and permeate our educational efforts. We must elucidate the vitally important, heightened spiritual dimensions of the feminine role, as delineated by the Torah and our Sages. Understanding the true dimensions of the feminine role will, God willing, help foster genuine satisfaction and contentment in women who assume this role. Moreover, as discussed earlier, educators also must nourish the minds, hearts and souls of Jewish women, young and old, by providing advanced opportunities to study Torah. However, we must do so in an attempt to foster the growth of wise, sensitive, modest, kind, traditional b’not Torah, not to create a unisex, egalitarian, inauthentic Orthodoxy.

    Similarly, we ought not orchestrate Bat Mitzvah celebrations to simulate Bar Mitzvah observances. Sincere intentions notwithstanding, we are guilty of a grave disservice to our daughters if, by way of example, we manipulate halachah and create the impression that the bat mitzvah is reading from the Torah, as bnei mitzvah do. A Bat Mitzvah convocation celebrates Jewish womanhood. How sadly ironic if the occasion is abused to blur the differences between a bar and bat mitzvah. Our daughters are heiresses to an abundantly rich matriarchal legacy, and can anticipate a singularly rewarding destiny. Should our Bat Mitzvah celebrations deprive them of their treasures, and deflect them from their destiny by a misguided egalitarianism?

    In all areas, we must strive to implement halachah, not God forbid, manipulate it to advance our non-halachic agenda. Postponing women’s recitation of the daily birkot haTorah and then reciting them prior to reading from a Torah scroll so as to simulate an authentic public Kriat HaTorah, does not conform to, but rather distorts halachah. Accordingly, Rav Soloveitchik zt”l expressly opposed this practice.21

    The Rav also provided clear, unambiguous guidance on the issue of women’s tefillah groups, but unfortunately misrepresentation and misinterpretation of his pronouncements have generated clouds of confusion. We must dispel that confusion, and restore the clarity of vision he provided.

    Many rabbis approached Rav Soloveitchik for guidance on the issue of women’s tefillah groups. On every occasion, the Rav unequivocally opposed such groups.22 Nevertheless, in some instances the petitioners and/or their constituencies were dissatisfied and simply refused to accept the Rav’s decision. The Rav was then confronted with an entirely different question: if such tefillah groups will be formed over his objections, how should the local rabbi respond? At this stage, unable to prevent the impermissible formation of these groups, the Rav indeed provided guidelines to prevent additional problems.

    Unfortunately these guidelines, cited out of their original context, have been trumpeted as proof of the Rav’s acquiescence, if not outright support for women’s tefillah groups. In fact, the Rav provided these guidelines reluctantly ex post facto to prevent additional infractions, despite his consistent, unequivocal ruling that such groups are halachically wrong.

    On other occasions, after the Rav stated his unequivocal opposition to women’s tefillah groups, the questioner persisted. “But, Rebbe, is it asur (legally forbidden)?” While resolutely opposed to such groups, the Rav was reluctant, at times refused, to label them as asur. Proponents of these groups have inferred that the Rav deemed them to be permissible and dismiss his adamant objections as non-binding, unauthoritative suggestions for public policy which they “respectfully” decline to follow. This analysis is flawed, as will be explained.

    Halachah is a complex, precisely nuanced divine system of law with its unique indigenous conceptual and juridical categories. Only by virtue of constant, wide-ranging and in-depth study of halachah, both its principles and minutiae, can one become fully attuned to authentic halachic categories, thinking and methodology; such detailed macrocosmic study is indispensable for an accurate understanding of any microcosm within halachah. When halachic statements or pronouncements are interpreted within a non-halachic mindset in non-halachic categories, inevitably distortions result.

    Regrettably, such distortions plague the flawed analysis of the Rav’s position on women’s tefillah groups. The analysis fails to consider the range and variety of halachic categories. When judging the acceptability or legitimacy of a particular action, halachah does not speak only in terms of mutar (permitted) and asur (forbidden). Many actions are not labeled asur, and yet are absolutely halachically wrong and unacceptable. The Talmud and Shulchan Aruch are replete with examples. In the case of one who fails to honor a legally non-binding oral commitment to give a present or finalize a transaction, the Talmud does not classify his conduct as asur. Rather, the Talmud says, “The Sages are not content with him.” And yet the Talmud explicitly states that his behavior, while not classified as asur, is impermissible.23 Similarly, “Rav would administer lashes to one who betrothed a woman in the marketplace or without prior engagement…”24 although this practice is not technically asur. Chazal rejected some forms of behavior as asur, others as wrong. Conceptual differences not withstanding, both categories are inviolable. In fact, at times, Chazal censured wrong behavior especially harshly and even imposed severe punitive measures on people who were guilty of such infractions.

    The Rav consistently advised all who inquired that women’s tefillah groups are, at best, halachically wrong. When such groups are unfaithful to halachah by promoting misconceptions that the participants are actually reciting devarim she’b’kedushah or receiving authentic aliyot and the like, they clearly violate the precept of truth.25 Under such conditions, women’s tefillah groups are indeed asur as well. Even under the best of theoretical circumstances, i.e. when everyone is informed that the participants are forfeiting the substantial advantages of public prayer and it is clear that no attempt is made to confer or simulate true aliyot, the Rav opposed such groups. Perhaps not technically asur, but unequivocally wrong and unacceptable. The queries regarding women’s tefillah groups and the Rav’s response were halachic. And as such the Rav’s negative response was, and is, binding.

    Looking Behind the Mask

    “Your child born of a Jewess is considered yours, however your child born of a Gentile is not considered yours.”26

    The halachah of matrilineal descent is of paramount significance, substantively and symbolically. In distinguishing women as the determinant of Jewishness, it speaks volumes about women’s standing within Judaism. It also symbolically hints at the primacy of the feminine role: the mother exerts the formative influence which ultimately ensures Jewish character and continuity.27,22

    The portrait of monolithic, mindless, monotonous feminine domesticity and enslavement in an “androcentric” world, which has been the object of vitriolic, secular, feminist barbs misrepresents the multi-faceted, pivotal, educational, spiritual, divinely ordained and beloved role of Jewish women.

    “The reward which the Holy One, blessed be He, has promised to women is greater than to men.”28

    Our assertion hitherto that the Torah values men and women equally, and accordingly cherishes and rewards their divine service equally, has been understated. In fact, the Torah rewards women more bountifully. The guiding principle for the divine system of remuneration is that “Reward is commensurate with the pain and distress involved in fulfilling the mitzvah.”29 The Torah recognizes that the feminine role, oft-times private and supporting, is more difficult and demanding than its masculine counterpart.30,24

    Let us be forthright. Modesty often masks the true dimensions of grandeur. Accordingly, a woman’s contribution, though immeasurably important, is often underappreciated. She toils selflessly, oft-times in relative solitude. At these private moments, she cannot be energized by the excitement and acclaim of public life. A life characterized by modesty and self-effacement is sublime, but exceedingly challenging. Throughout the generations, Jewish women have responded heroically, at times demonstrating a greater capacity than men for heroism.31 The heroism of Jewish women merited the Exodus at the dawn of our national history; so may it speedily herald the denouement of that history with the advent of Moshiach.




    I don’t understand the ????: I am currently learning ???? ??????, and in ??? ?? ?? ?? the ???? says: ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ??? ??? ?????: Women are for ornamental purposes only; Women are for having kids.

    The ???? also says [can’t remember were; it is quoted by the ??? ????? in ????? ????? ????? about a certain ????? made by the wife of one of the ??????]: A woman should go back to her sewing — i.e. woman are not meant to think.

    ??? ?????? ?”?. ????? ? ???? ? –> Women are lazy [and will lie to say they did things even though they didn’t, e.g. ????? ???].

    I noticed when i was in school and took my English A Level, the ‘Language and Gender’ section was full of this reid, and we noticed = every study made to show how language is biased against non-males [femails, for those who allow the word to be used] = was made by women. Not a single such study was made by a man. Figures, no???


    Yekke: I was reading through some of Joseph’s claims on pages 8-9. Wow, there is so much to respond to those but no real purpose. Just for you, though, see the Aruch Hashulchan on Bedikas Chametz by women. See also the Ritva in Kesubos on Ein Eisha Me’iza Paneha for proof that social/societal/even emotional assumptions from Chazal’s time can change. (Granted, though, it is much, much tougher to say that Lehakel than Lehachmir like in his case.)


    See ???? ????? about women being in positions of power. The ???? even condemns ????? and ?????, who were ????? – I don’t remember the exact ????, but it was something like ‘Woe to the generation where women are in power’. For good reason!!!


    RE A Man cooking at home and changing diapers:

    “I have to give you a source for a pasuk? It says lo yilbash. We know that it includes anything which is normally done by women. That includes dieing hair, carrying a weapon (for a woman) and so on.” [Moshe Rose, years ago]

    — You don’t need to give a source for a posuk. Just make sure you have a source that it includes anything which is normally done by women – I do not belive that a man cooking at home is violation of the Torah.

    Heres another example. Rav Eliyashiv holds that its assur for a woman to drive. Why? Lo Yilbash. The S”A says a man isnt allowed to look in a mirror. Why? Lo Yilbash. Anything that a woman does regular is part of Lo Yilbash. That includes cooking at home.

    Find a source for that please. Most things said in the name of Moron R’ Elyashiv Shlit”a were never said. How do you know he paskened like that? I have a proof he never said that. R’ Akiva Eiger paskens clearly ??”? ??’ ??”? that the Halacha is decided on the social norm. It is perfectly normal for a woman to drive.

    And also: The ???? of not looking into the mirror is also dependant on the norms. The ????? ????? ???? {and apparently the ???, although i have never seen it} paskens that it is 100% muttar in a place where it is the normal thing to do. In our generation, it is very normal for men to look in the mirror.

    And, as work moms become more common, it is equally growing to have the husband cooking. DEFINITELY no ?? ????.

    [most yeshiva guys in the world cook- although that may not have a shem cooking.]


    Women driving depends on the place. In Williamsburg (Brooklyn), New Square (New York), Yerushalayim (Meah Shearim), Bnei Brak and other places, it clearly is not the practice for women to drive.


    A quote I read on someone’s T-shirt one Purim:

    “So you’re a feminist? Isn’t that precious!”




    Joseph – we all know your against feminism because of your other post.


    Hmm, funny how this years-old thread randomly gets bumped by an avowed anti-feminist, just a few days after I return to the Coffee Room…

    Not taking the bait. Go troll somewhere else.


    jewishfeminist – and how am i trolling? just stating a fact. many people who are anti something may look up something and post on it and bump it so others can see it and post.


    Not you, Sparkly. Joseph is trolling. He’s the one who bumped the thread.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Others were also just stating facts. Like the fact that Feminism is unambiguously incompatible with Judaism.


    jewish feminist 02 – and his also anti feminism.


    Where has feminism gotten us as a society? Are we better off now than the 50s? Absolutely not.

    The family unit is in collapse. Sexual morals are down the drain. Our country idolizes beasts like Lena Dunham, nebech. People kill babies in the womb as if it’s the same as getting a pimple lanced at the doctor’s office. G-d help us.


    dov rosenbaum – we need ladies in stem! we cant only have men. we need a world where we can have a normal female president – not clinton. We need women to have an equal and fair oppurtunity as men do.


    Society has come pretty far. In the old days, a baby wasn’t considered a person until he killed someone in battle.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Sparkly: Feminism is not just saying ladies should take “stem” classes. The feminists are saying women should get priority on all the jobs over men, that women should get better pay than men (the claim that their current pay is worse is false. They’re lying now, so I don’t know what makes people think they’ll stop once they get their way).

    People probably thought Feminism would go away when women’s suffrage was granted, or when affirmative action gave them an unfair advantage, but it didn’t. They will just keep asking for more like when you give a dog a little piece of human food: it doesn’t go away satisfied, it just begs even more.


    According to wiki femnism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic EQUALITY to men” meaning that feminists (like me) want to be equal to men, be as respected and honored and given the same kinds of jobs as men.


    Neville ChaimBerlin: False. Feminism doesn’t want women to have priority over men. Feminism just wants a level playing field for everyone.

    Affirmative action was for minorities, not women.

    I’m sure you don’t realize how inappropriate your second paragraph is. How about you try replacing “feminists” with “Jews”, and then read it in light of hundreds of years of Jewish history, and see how it sounds.

    “People probably thought Jews would go away when parcels of land in ghettoes were granted to them, or when usury gave them an unfair advantage, but it didn’t. They will just keep asking for more like when you give a dog a little piece of human food: it doesn’t go away satisfied, it just begs even more.”

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Feminism doesn’t want women to have priority over men. Feminism just wants a level playing field for everyone.

    I always found that funny because I never found a playing field that needed leveling. Perhaps women are feeling they want mans jobs and not having them makes them un-leveled. But decades ago I was taught about certain halachos that women do that only she herself would know if it was done correctly. And she, without supervision, is responsible for the neshamos of her thousands of offspring. Men’s mitzvos are generally more tzibur oriented and I am not sure they have any that carry that high level of trust. You can say all the kaddesh-es you want, I would rather be trusted.


    It’s nothing to do with women having access to “mans jobs” [sic]. I mean, part of feminism is understanding that there isn’t such a thing as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs”, because jobs should always be given to the most qualified candidate regardless of gender. Of course, you are going to see some pretty significant gender disparities within certain fields, just because of natural aptitude or self-selection (for instance, female construction workers and male speech pathologists are both very rare breeds!) but the point is that if a woman CAN do a job that is usually held by a man, and she WANTS to, she shouldn’t be automatically turned away just because of a long-held prejudice that “ladies don’t do that”. Unfortunately, that happens quite often, even today. That’s the playing field that needs leveling. Plus, even once a woman has found a job that she likes, she won’t earn as much as a man would. Even in the identical position, with identical skills and experience. That’s another playing field that needs leveling.

    I wasn’t talking about feminism within Judaism…that’s a different story altogether.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Oh, I was only talking about Judaism…

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Also, I do think there are jobs that are better for men and jobs that are better for women (with the exceptions always present in behavioral sciences of course)just as there are jobs that are better for people with ADHD, better for people with poor people skills, better for people with no conscience, better for people with small families…

    Just a few days ago I had this “men get paid more” discussion with someone who told me it has not been true for years. I know that it isn’t true at my job but don’t know if it is still true elsewhere.


    It isn’t true. Women typically took more time off for family and personal reasons, both child birth and other reasons like raising children etc., so the women in the workforce typically have less experience than men even if both joined the workforce at the same time. This factual reality is not taken into account, and is virtually entirely ignored, when the feminists keep griping that they’re not paid fairly. Even the statistics they keep pumping out to “prove” this misnomer, doesn’t take the above fact into account and simply pretends that those women who spent months or years out of the workforce were actually employed all that time, when they’re comparing pay to experience between men and women.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    that doesn’t even make sense


    False. Nice try.


    jewish feminist- thats what i said and he was blocked so he wont be able to reply.


    Everything I stated is 100% factual.


    Joseph, what are your sources, or are you making things up as you go along ( as usual ). How do you know that the studies aren’t comparing based on similar experience in the field, and not see?


    Joseph – non jews may never have kids. i know many who say that they dont want. so much so that their are shots for not having kids that scared me the first time i heard of it when one of my not jewish friends got a shot not to have kids. so scary:( so your fact is wrong.

    Ben Levi


    You realize on the one hand you state that part of “feminism” is

    “understanding that there isn’t such a thing as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs”

    Then you continue on to write,

    “Of course, you are going to see some pretty significant gender disparities within certain fields, just because of natural aptitude or self-selection (for instance, female construction workers and male speech pathologists are both very rare breeds!”

    So in other words feminism requires us to think that since there are exceptions to every rule the rule is completely negated.


    BTW I always thought that Hillary Clinton had the best line about what feminism requires,

    “The willing suspension of disbelief”.

    (Of course HC was using it in a different context, she was question Gen. Petreaus over the need for a surge and if it would work)


    Ben Levi, read my comment again. You seem to have deliberately skipped over the second half of that sentence: “Part of feminism is understanding that there isn’t such a thing as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs”, because jobs should always be given to the most qualified candidate regardless of gender.”

    That should be clear enough. But I’ll humor you and explain it anyway.

    There is no such thing as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” in that ANY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE, regardless of gender, should be considered for a job, EVEN IF a person of that gender does not typically apply for those jobs.

    I am not in any way denying that trends exist, as far as who is typically a) interested in, and b) capable of, certain jobs. HOWEVER, the fact that those trends exist should NOT be used as an excuse not to hire a perfectly capable candidate who happens not to fit in with that trend.

    In other words: Most construction workers are men, because most women don’t want construction jobs, and/or couldn’t do the work even if they wanted to. That is a fact. BUT, if Jane Smith is a woman who enjoys construction work and is strong enough to do it just as well as any man, the construction boss should NOT refuse to hire her just because “women don’t do that.”


    jewish feminist – i agree. women should be able to get the same jobs as men do if they qualify for it.


    Some jobs are specifically meant to be done by men, and some meant for women.

    Let’s not forget one of the ways the Egyptians tortured us was to make men do women’s work and women do men’s work.


    joseph – theres no such thing as “women” jobs and “men” jobs.


    RY23, try to keep the message here rather than spreading it across multiple other threads.


    There are women’s responsibilities and mens responsibilities. And we can help each other with our responsibilities but we have Different complimentary contributions to the family unit, just as we do physically. Make and female energies complement each other. And it’s just not smart and untrue you say we’re both the same. We clearly aren’t.

    Instead of wanting women to be just like men, which is insulting to wonen how bout celebrating being women?


    I think the feminist movement started off well but now it’s vetted way off track. Today we should have a chauvenist movement if anything as it is men who are mocked all the time disrespected and their role devalued.

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