Simchas Torah and women

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  • #613668
    simcha613
    Participant

    In my shul there are a few single women who are actually very dedicated to Talmud Torah. Apparently, they asked if they could dance with the Torah on Simchas Torah in the ezras nashim. While I would be uncomfortable with seeing this in my shul, I really can’t formulate a good reason why. Assuming they are lishmah, and I have no reason to assume otherwise, they want to dance with the Torah in the same way I do. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to dance with the Torah on Simchas Torah?

    #1035550
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Why would you be uncomfortable? Start by exploring that.

    #1035551
    TheGoq
    Participant

    wha?????? why would they have to dance in the ezras nashim??? are they not allowed to dance with the married men??

    #1035552
    Sam2
    Participant

    It feels weird to me and this is probably a case where the intentions actually matter, but M’ikar HaDin there is no real reason to forbid women from dancing with the Torah. (Yes, I know the Rama; it has already been attacked by many Achronim and I said Ikar HaDin.)

    #1035553
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Sam, not just the intentions of the women in this shul, also the intentions of all the women who will follow suit.

    #1035554
    TheGoq
    Participant

    oops never mind thought the op said single men my bad

    #1035555
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: Disagree. Why should they lose out on something important and meaningful to them because others will abuse that?

    #1035556
    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m not sure which Rama you’re referring to, but if the Rama prohibits it even if other Achronim argue against it why do you assume we don’t pasken in accordance with the Rama? We don’t simply follow m’ikur hadin when poskim bring other considerations to be stringent.

    #1035557
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Sam, many gezeiros of Chaza”l work that way. Why should I lose out on the mitzvah of shofar because someone may be maavir daled amos? (I’m not suggesting an actual gezeirah, just illustrating the concept.)

    #1035558
    Sam2
    Participant

    “We don’t simply follow m’ikur hadin when poskim bring other considerations to be stringent.”

    I don’t know what this line means.

    Anyway, the large majority of Achronim strongly disagree with the Rama. I don’t usually attempt to Pasken where there is no clear consensus, but I would feel perfectly comfortable saying the Achronim have a clear consensus on this, even against the Rama.

    #1035559
    peacefull
    Member

    There is Limud Hatorah and there is another thing called Kidushas Hatorah, they can do the Limud Hatorah as well as you, but dancing with the Torah might be a Pigam in Kidushas Hatorah.

    #1035560
    Sam2
    Participant

    And now we have peacefull inventing a… I don’t even know what, a “Halachic category” in order to say… something not quite definitive.

    Peacefull, please elaborate on your post.

    #1035561
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    wheres rama?

    #1035562
    charliehall
    Participant

    Well if we are going to follow the Rema I look forward to everyone wearing tefillin on Chol HaMoed, eating dairy an hour after eating meat, and going home immediately after maariv on seder night rather than staying in shul to recite Hallel.

    #1035563
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Well if we are going to follow the Rema I look forward to everyone wearing tefillin on Chol HaMoed, eating dairy an hour after eating meat, and going home immediately after maariv on seder night rather than staying in shul to recite Hallel.

    I don’t think anyone was advocating a rule that “we always follow the rema.”

    I don’t know why you would read these comments in their most extreme form.

    Also, the rema says to be machmir and wait 6 hours (YD 89:1). And I do wear tefilin on chol hamoed, and I don’t say hallel seder night in shul. So not quite sure where you’re going with that.

    #1035564
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Well if we are going to follow the Rema I look forward to everyone wearing tefillin on Chol HaMoed, eating dairy an hour after eating meat, and going home immediately after maariv on seder night rather than staying in shul to recite Hallel.

    Societal Judaism as it is formed today is very much a “pick who you like” in terms of Halacha. If not, everyone would be doing woman’s Mezumenet, which is what all pre 20th century poskim say to do (TTBOMK) (and no yeshivish family does). Let alone Zemanim, Kashrus and Tznius.

    #1035565
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    would be doing woman’s Mezumenet

    I hold that when you do, you say “Maharatotai nevareches.”

    #1035566
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Maharatotai nevareches

    Lol, that has a nice ring to it.

    #1035567
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    that has a nice ring to it.

    Actually, the people in question are quite unlikely to have a ring. nice or otherwise.

    #1035568
    YITZCHOK2
    Participant

    If I understand Charlie Hall correctly if I decide to wear tefillin on chol hamoed then I would only have to wait 1 hour after meat for dairy-sign me up! it is certainly worth it.

    That being said there should be a better way for women to express simchas hatorah ( not they necessarily should hold a torah )than watching men dance. Certainly single women should have their own programs to celebrate and enjoy the yom tov. I could see married women enjoying seeing their kids dance with their father so let them choose if they want to go to shul or go to the amazing women’s program.

    #1035569
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    TTBOMK

    What is your best knowledge, in that regard?

    Also, what is your best knowledge regarding what people were actually doing?

    #1035570
    oomis
    Participant

    I hold that when you do, you say “Maharatotai nevareches.”

    That’s not even proper Hebrew grammar!!!!!!!! It would still be “nevareich!” The person leading the bensching is calling out, “Hey guys, we’re gonna bensch!” The word “Nevareich” is correct for male or female “we will bensch.” (I am NOT going to even begin to address the Maharatotai, as Rabosai does not mean “rabbis,” in the context of the sentence, so therefore the maharat issue is not shayach. You’re welcome.

    #1035571
    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Once I was at the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva of a major Rav( He is considered one of the major Poskim in the USA) and he spoke about this.

    The point of his drosha actually was that Halachically it’s not prohibited but as frum Yidden we have a Mesorah and we follow the Mesorah and there was never such aconcept in Judaisim.

    In the Chasam Sofer’s words,

    ‘Chadash Assur Min HaTorah”.

    #1035572
    interjection
    Participant

    Ben Levi: It was never a mesora to encourage all the men in klal Yisrael to join kollel. Once we’re talking about doing something argumentatively positive even if it’s a change from mesorah.

    #1035573

    Oh okay, so then Bais Yaakov is also assur because “as frum Yidden we have a Mesorah and we follow the Mesorah and there was never such aconcept [sic] in Judaisim [sic].”

    Right?

    #1035574
    Joseph
    Participant

    Bais Yaakov was a result of a shas hadchak.

    #1035575
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Oomis: you’re never gonna be an old timer if you take my posts seriously like that.

    #1035576

    How about women working? Is that also a shas hadchak? If you say yes because these days a family needs two incomes, then tell me how it is that there are families with 10+ children in which there is only one income, and it’s coming from the Ima.

    The bottom line is “there’s no mesorah for that” is a silly and weak argument. No one seems prepared to argue that this is halachically assur, but I still haven’t seen a real case for why it’s not otherwise appropriate other than that it makes some people uncomfortable. And I can tell you that women not participating on Simchas Torah makes me uncomfortable. I know I’m not the only one, either. So whose comfort is going to take precedence?

    #1035577
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PBA – I’m unaware of any source that says not to do it, and only know one religious person who does.

    Do you have any additional information to share?

    ‘Chadash Assur Min HaTorah”.

    And the irony about this is that the Chasam Sofer was the one who said there is no reason whatsoever for MBP other than health, and that if doctors say it is more healthy one must use a sponge.

    #1035578
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’m unaware of any source that says not to do it, and only know one religious person who does.

    Do you have any additional information to share?

    Yes, I do have info to share.

    I’ve never heard of anyone doing it before the War, and never heard any claims that it was normal then.

    #1035579
    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    gavra:

    The Shulchan Aruch in O.C. 199:7 paskens that it’s a reshus. R’ Moshe Shternbuch discusses this issue in Teshuvos V’hanhagos 6:49. He asks that since we pasken that it’s a reshus (so there is nothing to lose by making a zimun) why aren’t women machmir like the shitta of the Rosh who holds that they are actually chayev to make a zimun. He suggests that zimun has a din of a beracha (using the shem umalchus from the beracha of Hazan) and it might be that the halacha that says that they are permitted to make a zimun is only if there is a tzorech, but in lieu of a tzorech it would be a beracha sheaino tzericha. He explains that the tzorech would be if there was a woman who needed someone to be motzi her and lechatchila shomea k’oneh is only permissible when you make a zimun. In Teshuvos V’hanhagos 4:51 he explains this slightly differently and adds another two reasons for women not to make a zimun, namely that it might be yuhara and that it might be lo sisgodedu if in the general populace, women don’t make a zimun. His concluding remarks there are:

    ??”? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ????????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ????? ????? ???????? ??? ??? ???”? ?? ????? ????? ?????

    ?????? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ????”?

    #1035580
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PAA – Thanks.

    #1035581
    golfer
    Participant

    Jfem, you would like to know whose “comfort” takes precedence??

    I don’t know about you, but in the Batei Medrash where I’ve been at Hakafos, one of the favorite songs, in a few different versions, is:

    “Baruch Hu… She’be’ra’anu Lichvodo”

    Lichvodo, v’lo lichvodeinu.

    We were not created and put on this earth to find personal comfort.

    At a time when we’re giving joyous thanks for the honor and privilege of having Torah in our lives, we realize that there is a higher dimension to our existence that comes before personal comfort.

    This realization can make us all enjoy and treasure the day, regardless of which side of the mechitza we find ourselves on.

    #1035585
    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    gavra:

    Just for the record, I was only quoting R’ Shternbuch to present a possible reason not to make a zimun. I was not saying that the halacha follows R’ Shternbuch. In fact, many poskim disagree with him, for example R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as quoted in Halichos Baisa. In support of Popa, the Aruch Hashulchan (199:2) writes: ??? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? although he doesn’t give a justification.

    #1035586
    Yikesau
    Member

    The Mishna Berurah states that now women do go to shul even though they are in there Tumah period but they should not look at the Sefer Torah when they pick it up to show the congregation. My question is how these single women (who I can imagine are Tumei) want to dance with it whilst they are Tumei Niddah?

    For the above Mishna Berura have a look here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49623&st=&pgnum=232

    edited

    #1035587

    Golfer, I was responding to someone who said that the concept of women dancing makes them uncomfortable. The point is not that my or their personal comfort is the theme of the day, but it’s relevant to the topic at hand. But for the record, I can’t really “enjoy and treasure the day” when I’m standing in a corner watching the men rejoice over the Torah.

    #1035588

    yea there should be an ezras anashim, and the women should be the center of the show, noooooooo, stay home and watch the kids, if your kids come to shul, watch them in shul

    #1035589

    I don’t have kids.

    #1035590
    Sam2
    Participant

    Yikesau’s “Mishnah B’rurah” is the Rama I cited earlier.

    #1035591

    I don’t know halachically what would be wrong with it, but I’m wondering what’s wrong with standing in the ezras nashim looking at the men joyously celebrating that Hashem gave us as a nation the Torah. Simchas Torah was always my favorite time of year – the pride of being part of Am Yisrael, of being chosen to receive the Torah (which also gives me direction as to what my role is as a woman in the scheme of things)

    Personally, I never felt deprived because I couldn’t actually hold the Torah and dance with it.

    #1035592
    Joseph
    Participant

    jf02: Them working is at best a b’dieved to be avoided if at all possible. That it’s done is out of unfortunate necessity. About mothers who are the only income in the family, I’m not keen about that setup. But if done for the benefit of her husband’s Limud Torah then it is an accepted trade-off. And it is far from being newly fangled arrangement. It surely wasn’t as prevalent in previous generations, due to the economic inaccessibility of being able for most families, but it’s greater popularity in our generation is a positive attribute.

    That something is not the mesorah or traditional thing to do is neither silly nor weak as a reasoning for it to remain that way. It is in fact a strong argument. You should train yourself, even if it is difficult, to enjoy and treasure the day watching the menfolk dancing joyously with the Torah.

    #1035593

    No. I’m not going to “train myself” to feel differently. I’m not going to apologize for having the feelings I have. I don’t accept the ever so subtle implication that my feelings are illegitimate. They aren’t.

    Talmud Torah isn’t my mitzvah. It isn’t my calling to sit in a beis medrash all day. But you know what? Simchas Torah isn’t just a celebration of Talmud Torah. It’s a celebration of Yiddishkeit. Torah, as in the Sefer Torah that is the centerpiece of the holiday, represents our entire nationhood and way of life. And that is just as much mine as any man’s. And I feel so blessed to have been born into Am Yisrael, and so thrilled with the tremendous gift of the Torah, that I too want to dance and sing and rejoice. Sitting in a corner with the women and the crying babies is no kind of rejoicing for me. Watching the men dance doesn’t make me joyful. It makes me hurt and even resentful. I don’t like those feelings and I don’t want to feel that way on one of the happiest days on our calendar. I’d rather stay home.

    #1035594
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Hashem gave us as a nation the Torah”

    And that included the women.

    #1035595
    charliehall
    Participant

    “You should train yourself, even if it is difficult, to enjoy and treasure the day watching the menfolk dancing joyously with the Torah.”

    Not possible in many shuls — the mechitzot are too high.

    #1035596
    charliehall
    Participant

    “But if done for the benefit of her husband’s Limud Torah then it is an accepted trade-off. And it is far from being newly fangled arrangement.”

    It violates the clear language in every Ashkenazic Ketubah since the time of the rishonim, and was pretty much unheard of until the civil rights laws made it possible for women to earn equal pay with men.

    #1035598
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It violates the clear language in every Ashkenazic Ketubah

    It is based on mechilah. If I lend you money with a shtar, and then forgive the loan, are either of or both of us violating that shtar?

    The trade off Lior speaks of is not halachic, it’s the benefit of the talmud Torah vs. the cost in chinuch and in some cases tzniyus (which is often a trade off for men as well in their workplaces).

    #1035599

    Regardless of whether or not the kollel lifestyle with women working is or is not ideal, I don’t see how anyone can argue with a straight face that it is not “new” and that somehow a long tradition exists for it.

    #1035600
    Joseph
    Participant

    The Chofetz Chaim learned while his rebbetzin ran the grocery store. This was hardly the first; such setups long existed. But even if it IS new, so what? Look at it as a lifestyle choice. There’s no “long tradition” of Torah Jews going to college or driving cars or having running water at home. None of that gives a license to change Jewish traditions.

    #1035601

    You have just precisely proved my point that an argument against anything for the reason that “no mesorah exists for it” is patently ridiculous.

    #1035602
    golfer
    Participant

    Jfem, remind me where I heard about the woman who…

    “Haysa ka’aniyos socher…” (see metzudas D- even though the husband is obligated to provide for her, she provides…)

    She’s up before dawn, she dabbles in real estate, she uses her earnings to plant a vineyard, besides the clothing and fabrics she spins and weaves for her own family, she makes enough to sell too.

    And all the while, her husband is sitting with the ziknei oretz.

    How long ago exactly was that “tradition” described?

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