Shelo Asani Isha

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  • #1050888

    good.jew
    Member

    In my shul, everyone sings “shelo asani Popa”

    #1050889

    Bumpius Humorus!

    Popa was in excellent form in this thread.

    #1050890

    I believe PBA is addressing the notion that “sheosani kirtzono” reflects a positive attibute of nashim, by pointing out that the converse would mean that men were not created kirtzono (which is, of course, absurd).

    Two years later, can anyone give a good alternative explanation?

    (Or perhaps it does not actually need one?)

    #1050891

    #Rabbi Zecharya Wallerstein gives an excellent answer in his youtube video of Shomer Nehgiah..

    #1050892

    interjection
    Participant

    The Gemara (I believe Eruvin 13b) says that human beings were better off not being created. Therefore, none of the Brachos start She’asani (She’asani Kirtzono is quite a discussion) because we cannot thank Hashem for actually creating us. We can only bless Him that once He created us, we were created in a fashion that has more opportunities to do Mitzvos.

    This might be the first answer that actually somewhat worked for me.

    In the Yesod Malchus siddur, the bracha for women is “baruch (ata hashem….haolam) she’asani kirtzono”, meaning that God’s name is in parenthesis. It always bothered me because it’s saying that it’s not really a bracha and I assumed chazal made up that bracha so women can feel good that we have a bracha. Now I understand why the bracha was seemingly against women and why the women’s bracha is tooting our own horn, considering it might have been made up by women.

    I’m still left wondering why, if the purpose int the man’s bracha is because he has more mitzvos, why it can’t be more explicit in the bracha. Why can’t the bracha have been written in such a way that it doesn’t degrade females.

    #1050893

    northwardb
    Member

    I stopped saying *shelo asani isha* a few months ago. I’ve read more than a few of the apologetics for this, some of them by frum women and for me at least they no longer wash. They all seem to be a variant on theme of “Since men are spiritually weaker than women, Hashem gave us lots of particular mitzvot & that is what we are thanking Him for.” Even if one accepts this idea (I don’t, not any more), it still doesn’t sound right (“…who has not made me a woman”), on the contrary. Methinks a better way could have been found to express the idea. So I’ve been saying what women say & thus praising Hashem *she asani k’ritzono*. (He did.) Works for me.

    #1050896

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So just be honest and say, “?????? ???? ??????”.

    #1050897

    oomis
    Participant

    Personally, I think the men are blessing Hashem for not creating them to be the child-bearers, to have to go through pregnancy and labor, and then yipes – actually rear the children (for the most part). It is a tough job for tough people, and men are simply not tough enough or cut out for such an undertaking. (JUST KDDING, FOLKS!)

    #1050898

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So just be honest and say, “?????? ???? ??????”.

    Yup, that about sums it up.

    #1050899

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    northwardb,

    what that statement (spiritually weaker) means that we have more mitzvos to fulfill, the point of our creation is to serve Him, take it like this, in a job, the more responsibilities one has the more important (managers have a lot more responsibilities than workers) therefore our pay grade is more

    in the words of peter parker “with great power comes great responsibility” the converse is also true

    #1050900

    northwardb
    Member

    “So just be honest and say, “?????? ???? ??????”.”

    ???

    #1050901

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Because what you really are doing is creating yourself a god according to your will.

    #1050902

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Women have more actual responsibilities than men.

    #1050903

    Sam2
    Participant

    interjection: Honestly, probably because no one thought it would be degrading to women. People didn’t think like that. I would guess that there would be a different formulation if Chazal were around today.

    northwardb: See my explanation on the first page.

    #1050904

    picturesq
    Member

    The brocha is not degrading to women or something that Chazal overlooked and they wouldn’t have worded it any differently. It is only a modern perception (not even all that old) of some people that think otherwise.

    #1050906

    interjection
    Participant

    picturesq: Saying “Thank you Hashem for not making me like the other person” implies something negative about that other person.

    #1050907

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    It doesn’t necessarily imply anything negative about that person. It means that one does not want to be that person. There is a difference.

    #1050908

    picturesq
    Member

    “Thank you Hashem for (making me royalty and) not making me a commoner.”

    “Thank you Hashem for (making me a Kohen and) not making me a Yisroel.”

    “Thank you Hashem for (making me an employer and) not making me an employee.”

    “Thank you Hashem for (making me rich and) not making me poor.”

    None of these brochos are degrading to commoners, Yisroelim, employees or the poor. It is simply thanking Hashem for making one on a higher madreiga. Just like a Talmid Chochom is on a higher madreiga than a non-Talmid Chochom.

    #1050909

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Saying “I’m better than person X” inherently implies that person X is lower than me, but saying “I am glad I am not person X” does not.

    #1050910

    Sam2
    Participant

    picturesq: Um, yes they are. Saying “I’m better than person X” inherently implies that person X is lower than me.

    #1050911

    picturesq
    Member

    I specifically said they’re on a lower madreiga, just like a non-talmid chochom is on a lower madreiga than a talmid chochom. That’s the whole point of men having more mitzvos. But acknowledging that talmidei chochomim or men or whatever are on a higher madreiga, while factual, is not degrading others (like non-talmidei chachomim or women).

    #1050912

    profound101
    Participant

    picturesq are you saying that men are on a higher madreigah than women?

    #1050913

    picturesq
    Member

    I thought that part wasn’t under debate. The whole point of men having more mitzvos, that everyone was mentioning as a reason for this brocho, puts them on a higher madreiga just like a talmid chochom is on a higher madreiga than a pashute yid. Another thing that shows this is the halacha of saving lives first.

    #1050914

    owl
    Member

    “Haven’t heard this from anywhere, but maybe we are thanking Hashem for making us into men despite women being on a higher spiritual level.”

    This is a myth invented to appease feminism. Women are not on a higher level. You will not find any classic source that says such a thing. I can show you several that say the reverse though.

    The idea also doesn’t fit into this context because the brachos work in a certain order, goy, slave, woman. Is the goy higher than the man too? And why would you be thankful for being made less spiritual?

    Here is a great explanation from Rabbi Soloveitchik:

    from the addendum to the Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik Siddur

    (R. Isaiah Wohlgemuth, Guide to Jewish Prayer, pp. 59-60, said in the name of Rabbi Soloveitchik)

    #1050915

    owl
    Member

    This is from the Tur on Orach Chaim 46.

    #1050916

    owl
    Member

    Reb Moshe says we have mitzvos because we have holiness, not the reverse. But he says men and women are equal in holiness.

    “You should know that all of this (the exemption of women from positive time bound commandments) is not because women are on a lower level of holiness than are men. While obligation in commandments results strictly from one’s having holiness, men and women, in that sense, are equal in holiness. All the verses in the Torah regarding holiness refer also to women. (This applies from) the beginning (with) the arrangement to receive the Torah (at Sinai). “You’ll be to me a treasure and you’ll be to me a holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. (The subject of this verse is all of the nation of Israel) as it says “house of Jacob” in referring to the women and “tell to the house of Israel” in referring to the men. Exodus 19:3. “

    Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim IV #49

    #1050917

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Men have more chiyuvim in mitzvos, but that doesn’t mean we’re on a higher madreigah than women.

    Kohanim, though, are on a higher madreigah than Leviim and Yisraelim. The brachah for birchas kohanim is ??? ????? ??????? ?? ????, which connotes a higher level of kedushah.

    Women, on the other hand, according to some Rishonim, can say the brachah of ??? ????? ???????? even on mitzvos for which they’re not obligated, become the p’tur isn’t based on a lower level. Even the Rishonim who disallow the brachah, as I recall, object to the lashon of ??????, because they’re not commanded.

    #1050918

    picturesq
    Member

    DY: How do you explain the reason for the halacha of the priority of saving lives?

    #1050919

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Can an eishes kohein make the bracha of asheir kidshanu b’kdushaso shel aharon because she eats teruma?

    How about the eved of a kohein?

    #1050920

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    picturesq: Saying “Thank you Hashem for not making me like the other person” implies something negative about that other person.

    No, it does not. It implies something less positive. This is not merely semantics, these are worlds apart hashkafically.

    #1050921

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Picteresq, as owl points out (his post wasn’t up when I posted), that question could be put to R’ Moshe as well. I think the answer is: more mitzvos.

    Popa, does a kohen say that brachah when eating terumah? I’m only aware of it for duchaning, and other forms of avodah, but not for achilas terumah.

    Even if they did, their achilah might be a mitzvah and a form of avodah, but nashim va’avadim would be a r’shus.

    #1050922

    owl
    Member

    “Men have more chiyuvim in mitzvos, but that doesn’t mean we’re on a higher madreigah than women.”

    See Maharal, Chidushei Agados, Makkos 23b and Zies Ra’anan (Magen Avraham) on Yalkut Shimoni, Shmuel 1:1 “And Chana prayed on her heart.”

    #1050923

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Feminists un-appeased, will fight.

    #1050924

    owl
    Member

    “I’m still left wondering why, if the purpose int the man’s bracha is because he has more mitzvos, why it can’t be more explicit in the bracha. Why can’t the bracha have been written in such a way that it doesn’t degrade females. “

    It was such a different world back then. Men and women were seen as being in two different worlds and people were not so easily insulted. Even 50 years ago it was that way. Imagine, 1500 years ago, or longer. That bracha could be 2,000 years old or 3,000 years old.

    And the world wasn’t so competitive either. They didn’t rank everything. There was no world series champion, no college rankings.

    #1050925

    picturesq
    Member

    DY: Check the Rambam on the Mishna (Horios) that discusses this halacha. I’m pretty sure he writes that it is because of a higher level of kedusha.

    #1050926

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=37946&st=&pgnum=464

    I think R’ Moshe is learning (and the lashon of the Rambam sounds this way) that the added kedushah is not b’etzem, it’s a product of the extra chiyuvim. Kohanim, OTOH, have their extra mitzvos because of the higher level of kedushah.

    #1050927

    Sam2
    Participant

    picturesq: Pashtus is that the “Halacha of saving lives” is a misreading of the Mishna. See Tzitz Eliezer 18:2 (give or take).

    #1050928

    picturesq
    Member

    That certainly isn’t the pashtus as it seems to me that the Tzitz Eliezer is shver as is a daas yochid on his interpretation which is contrary to the Shach and Taz, and really the Mishna itself is pretty clear, while he is giving it a new and unique teitch. What’s even shverer is that the Tzitz says that the Shulchan Aruch doesn’t cite this halacha from the Mishna whereas the S”A actually does (YD 252-8). Also, the Tzitz’s interpretation runs contrary to the braisa in Kesuvos 67b.

    #1050929

    Sam2
    Participant

    picturesq: What are you referring to in Kesubos?

    #1050930

    picturesq
    Member

    The braisa (starting on the bottom of 67a) says that if there’s only a limited amount of money for food, then women are given first prior to men.

    #1050931

    Sam2
    Participant

    picturesq: That’s a Machlokes Tannaim and a separate issue. That’s by Yerusha, not Tzedaka. I have not yet had a chance to look up the SA, Shach, and Taz, but B”N I’ll get to it.

    #1050932

    owl
    Member

    “I think R’ Moshe is learning (and the lashon of the Rambam sounds this way) that the added kedushah is not b’etzem, it’s a product of the extra chiyuvim.”

    With the Rambam it’s hard to tell. With Reb Moshe it seems pretty clear. He says the shaychas of the chiyuv of mitzvos is FROM kiddushah. He doesn’t say kiddushah is from mitzvos.

    He might get this from the Gemara in Yavamos that considers that an extra pasuk is need to learn a mitzvah for cohanim because they have more kiddushah.

    However, he notes men and women are equal in kiddushah. This is why we say women are exempt. They have a connection to the mitzvah, but are exempt, (like a chason on his wedding day is exempt from krias shema-my note). This is why they say a bracha when doing lulav et al.

    #1050933

    Sam2
    Participant

    Rav Soloveitchik explained that according to the Rambam, every type of Kedushah stems from the increased Chiyuv in Mitzvos.

    #1050934

    picturesq
    Member

    Sam: The braisa I’m referring to is discussing tzedaka not yerusha. It’s relevant since the Tzitz you cited has an interpretation that you give first to a man whereas the braisa says to give first to a woman.

    #1050935

    owl
    Member

    Sam2

    Interesting, do you recall where the rav says that?

    #1050936

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The whole concept of discussing who is born holier is really childish, which is not out of place in our times. What does it even mean to be born holier? Is this a chairsong? We are born with responsibilities and by fulfilling them we are being fulfilled, and can attain holiness.

    Is a Kohen a better person? Is he innately more accomplished? He has a job and position. He is charged with priesthood which carries with it holiness that he must guard.

    We apply ??? ???? ???? ???? ??? to a woman as well. When you are forced to sort an order the Halacha respects the potential of Mitzvos. Again, nothing about ‘being’ better.

    While the Maharal discusses often the concept of man representing ???? and woman the ????, he actually stresses that it is a representation and not identity.

    #1050937

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    In almost every species there is a dominant gender. Dominant doesn’t mean superior, and surely not ‘better’. Like I said, nobody is born better. You might be born luckier. Having the role of dominant is an external, identifiable attribute and it makes sense to appreciate that. Is realizing this insulting? In other words, do I have to blind myself in order not to insult you? Are you born with an inherent insult to which the only solution is to make believe it doesn’t exist?

    There’s a much better solution, put things in context. Two roles side by side, one has glamour and both are equally necessary. The sky is not better than the earth, and definitely not more important, but it does have a glamour. We do have a certain respect, and it is used as metaphor for achievement.

    Having said all that, the Bracha is actually about being charged with Mitzvos, as Chazal tell us. There is obviously a good reason why men have more Mitzvos, and obviously women aren’t being shortchanged by ????? ???? ???. But we thank Him for what we have.

    #1050938

    Sam2
    Participant

    owl: R’ Schachter and R’ Rosensweig quote it often. I could find links to it on YUTorah. But they say it wherever they discuss Kedushas Yisrael. I don’t know if it’s in print from The Rav.

    #1050939

    Joseph
    Participant
    #1050940

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    And Leviim in my case.

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