Rebbetzin Without A Rov?

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    Being an akeres habayis has nothing to do with whether the mother puts tefillin, goes to minyanim, learns rashi and tosfos, etc.

    A woman doesn’t have to do any of that because of her innate kedusha. Mothers ignite the sparks that are waiting to be kindled within the hearts of the next generation. Mothers nurture the soul of each child teaching them the meaning of endless love. Mothers carry life, give life and shed tears as they pray that each child lives a purposeful and good life.

    That is the role of the yiddishe mame.

    The tateh is the one who learns and davens.


    Can we find a middle ground:
    yes, women can fulfil themselves without engaging in pilpul. They frankly have more important things to do!
    and yes, they now have opportunity and time (thanks to men who invented dishwashers, etc) to learn more and those who want can pursue it. My daughters heard most of the agadot, and many halakhot, that they overhear from my zoom yomi before in Jewish schools, they just organize them differently – into packs of instructions instead of philosophical ideas.


    RebE> machloket between Magen Avrom v. Sma’s wife

    Women in my family have no problem understanding the difference between nerot shabbos and yom tov. Maybe this is a good example where halakha makes sense according to education of the generation.

    Hard question, worthy of Rabbi Yermiyahu’s chicken legs: if the husband is a direct male descendant of Magen Avrom and the wife is a direct female descendant of Sma’s wife – how does their daughter light? [wife obviously does according to her female masorah]

    I am proposing the answer: she lights by her father when she is in his house out of respect (mother needs to also respect father), but follows her mother after she marries. Teiku if she divorces and comes back to her house.


    >> The tateh is the one who learns and davens.

    how do you darshen “Shma beni mussar avicha, v’al titosh toras imecha”?


    Dear Always,

    For a literate woman to remain a passionate Jew, she must have anat least an equal amount of authentic Torah in her life, to go with her wife’s educational and social influences.


    Dear Dov Rosenbaum,

    You actually wrote that a mother prays a few lines before the father davens.


    The good Jewish mothers who do all those things, do it out of devotion and reverence for Hashem, His Torah, and their fellow Jews. It is not one bit natural or innate in the sense that it is not something that they strove for. It reflects on her self determination and personal growth.

    Such a woman absolutely loves Torah. And whatever these is Torah knowledge to be gained, she is all ears. Assuming time, money, and energy allow for it. A passion does not allow for one to just focus on certain tasks as the end all be all.

    If a woman would really have no exposure to the ideals of Torah, would she then sacrifice for the right things? How would she even know what to value? And how would she judge what is better for her sons? And most of all, how would she negate all the secular influences in her life?


    To DaasYochid: You must be very short, because my fabulous jokes always seem to go over your head.

    And yes, one can go into the future without going to another place.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Either that or your jokes are very elevated.


    you view it as shul giving an honor, assigning her to teach without asking.
    A married professional with a J.D. and L.L.M sees it as they were trying to get something for nothing. They hired the husband at a salary for his services. They did not contract for her services.
    These were not classes on Shabbos or Yuntif, or at night, but smack in the middle of the business day.
    Before publishing and distributing the schedule, the shul should have asked her if she was willing and available to teach. For too long, shuls think the Rabbi’s wife is unpaid help, a bonus to his salary.


    n0 > to go with her wife’s

    this is inappropriate language for a family site, or just inadequate English 🙂


    n0> And how would she judge what is better for her sons? And most of all, how would she negate all the secular influences in her life?

    absolutely. But what I think Dov is saying – if someone is not exposed to modernity, she might not need that. I would love to see statistics whether we still have community that are really walled off the world. If someone has a friend who has a friend who is getting their news from facebook, then the person is probably exposed.

    And if they are, as you say, they need tools to both process and counter-act. And the exposure is mostly at the popular level, like facebook-curated news, rather than access to academic research. Maybe it is similar to previous exposure to Hellenism – there were philosophers and science, and there were sports and popular culture.


    Ctlawyer, I understand her emotional reaction and social environment. I am just trying to look at it from first principles:
    – being asked to teach is a great honor. Shabbos ~ 60 – when Hillel corrected bnei Betira, he started teaching them (and then made a mistake of being too haughty).

    – Were they rude, yes? imagine, you get a call at 3 am from Nobel committee (as it often happens, I hear). Rude, yes, but I bet you’ll accept the prize. Was the guy asking Hillel about Ethiopians’ feet rude and a racist? yes, but Hillel answered.

    – it actually makes sense to presume that she is capable to teach. Honor of talmid chacham applies to his spouse: when his wife comes in, you need to get up. R Nachman sent geese into the courtroom so that everyone jumps and it will not be visible that he gets up for the lady, so that others will feel he will judge in her favor

    – you can’t charge for Torah, but you can for missing time. So, at minimum, she could have agreed and suggested a price, confirmed by her receipts (without firm profit and maybe a nice 10% discount).

    – a little pushing it: she could have just given a class and sent a bill. This is based on halakha that when you hire someone and do not ask for a price, you should pay reasonable rate that the person will charge.

    – And take them to beis din if they don’t. I would be shocked if a shul would not value Torah at a measly $200.


    Dear Always,

    I think I meant life’s……😂


    Dear Always,

    This is precisely the debate. Were the dedicated Jewish mothers of yore, at all learned in Torah? Was it necessary for them to be?

    Now I think if you admit to the premise today, than it should carry over to any generation. The counter argument is about how women have an internal Torah direction that guides them. Except if she were to have excessive outside influences. As that would negate her internal sense. Therefore, she has to stay home and avoid blah blah blah. This line of thinking gives a women a stronger internal Torah mind than men have. So then it is a real shame that they are not required to learn. Think how far they could go! But I digress.

    As it plays out in our day, That even women in fairly insular settings gravitate toward their secular influences, even when they are minute and not in direct conflict with Torah. So there is no internal gold on the woman. Give her the time and liberty, she’ll come up with something to think about. So what kept Jewish women in the fold. What made them so fierce about their Jewishnes?

    The answer is simple. They drank up whatever Torah they could. All the ‘well known Rashi’ comes from being picked up in conversation. Besides, the amount of halachah that a Jewish man had to know before the industrial revolution, was quite a lot. A kitchen with just a few pots. With steam and smoke all around. No streetlights. No instant communication. And all the halachah of interpersonal relationships. The main difference today, is that everything is more scholastic.


    n0, another theory about the past, both re:men and women. Jewish community survived not necessarily because every person was a tzadik gamur. Some were drinking Torah, others were drinking something else. Lots of people were often not on a level. But, in many centuries, these people remained Jewish. In Eretz Israel, they might have even served idols.

    So, what used to happen with these people? they stayed within Jewish community and, hopefully, things would get better after a couple of generations. In the times when we are in close contact with other civilizations (now, Germany, Spain, Chanuka), everyone off the derech will assimilate and leave Jewish community forever. This explains current conservatism out of fear of losing members to assimilation.


    Dear Always,

    Jews do not assimilate or convert because of close contact with the outside world. Look at the Jewish communities in the Arab lands. Almost no assimilation until World War One. The reason why Jews leave the fold is because they feel like there is nothing there for them. Spiritual and physical. Shutting out the world offers less creativity, which leads to less options, which speeds up the process. When we really look, the rate of attrition is the same throughout all orthodox groups. The salve for assimilation is Jewish Education.


    n0, I wholeheartedly agree. It is still an open question whether we can survive with best education while in full contact with the rest of the world. Some communities bet yes, some bet no. I don’t know.
    I hope we can … but always chose a safer alternative for my kids.

    Note on Sephardim – Arab countries were not touched by modernity. That is different. When Sephardim were in Sefarad proper, they was assimilation even before modernity. Jews in Russia did not assimilate when they were sent forcibly to the army, but did when offered attractive alternatives … so, environment matters … R Shach writes that if Arabs welcomed early Zionists, they would have all went to Cairo University and intermarried. Something to take in mind re: current events.


    Dear Always,

    Assimilation was almost nil in the Arab lands, middle ages Ashkenaz, Czarist Russia, and other places for the same reason. There was nothing to gain. Not marriage, income, status, or meaning of life.

    The Zionists were split in three groups. One was dedicated to the land – namely agriculture. They would have to meet like minded Arabs. Not likely. Two: were just looking for a better life. He they were not very opposed to assimilation they would have went to America. Three: were deeply attached to Jewish ideas. That would have needed to come upon an official platform as to why intermarriage is beneficial to Jews. As was widely done in industrialized Europe.

    When I think about it, touched by modernity is relative. The people who were not, would have thought themselves as modern as they needed to be.


    > touched by modernity is relative.

    All people got too excited by modernity. Changes in last several hundred years never happened before, maybe mabul excepting … German Jews in 19th century were trying to educate Poliosh/Russian Jews and get them out of poverty, but, at the time, this was highly correlated with assimilation. Are things different now? Studying computer science does not seem to require signing up for some foreign ideas. At the same time, every second English and History class in public schools and universities has some political context in it thrown at kids, even while explaining where to put commas. Online school is good for that – when I hear norishkeit, I use it as an opportunity to rebut it, jointly with kids. Seems to be working like a vaccine. It is a dangerous live vaccine though. I wonder if there is mRNA liberalism produced anywhere.

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