June 24, 2018 12:12 am at 12:12 am #1545251
I’ve been doing research on the difference in the way women were treated and viewed in Jewish life throughout history vs. now (partially spurred by some threads viewed on this site) and I came across this fascinating piece in Torah Or which really sums it up for me.
Shame I can’t figure out how to paste the pdf here from Hebrew books. It’s Torah or, vayigash mem daled hosafos.
If the link is allowed through here it is:June 24, 2018 2:39 am at 2:39 am #1545372
Jewish women were treated throughout Jewish history in the highest esteem and regard. Unlike how the gentile world treated women as chattel.June 24, 2018 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #1545505
True but their greatness was accomplished by diminishing themselves. Just like the moon.
For example Rabbi Akivas wife Rochel. She was so great because she lost all her wealth and family support to marry him and then slaved away 24 years in utter poverty, raising the children by herself (and giving up on having more probably).
Because of her self sacrifice, she was credited with all the Torah learned.
Jewish woman were always treated better than their non Jewish counterparts. But there still was a hierchy. Husband and then wife. Just take the phrase mshubedes labaal. Both those words connote she is beneath him. Yet that was also her greatness and she was lauded by putting herself aside to build klal Yisrael
By Geula women will still be feminine but the feminine will be valued as equal.the world has definitely shifted in that direction both spiritually and on a world scale.June 24, 2018 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1545519anonymous JewParticipant
Joseph, they can’t inherit, testify , or give their husband a get using meah rabbonim, leave the house without husband’s permission, drive. That’s just to start. That’s your definition of esteem?June 24, 2018 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1545613
Anonymous jew it seems some of those are misunderstood. Take the inheritance for example. The brothers could only inherit after the sisters were provided their dowry for, and the sisters came first…
The men were the ones who were able to work the land… It was a different world.
Testimony : a woman is trusted with the household so kashrus and with the tremendous responsibility of taharas hamishpacha. Her non testifying in other circumstances then cannot mean that is because her word isn’t trusted.
I’m referring to a deeper understanding of feminine roles and equality which I will iyh post soon and is quoted in the source above.June 24, 2018 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1545609
AJ: That simply points to the different purposes, goals, obligations and tafkid in life of each gender. It has no bearing on each one’s esteem. There’s no “equality” in Judaism. Nor does equality translate into esteem. Are Cohanim equal to Yisroelim? Rabbonim to laymen? Does that mean Yisroelim or laymen are unesteemed? Of course not. Same as with the natural and legal differences between men and women.June 24, 2018 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #1545684
Agreed Joseph. Now to what I was referring to, in the source above it brings how women differ by golus and Geula and the reason:
Everything here is a reflection on the spiritual realms above. Women reflect the spiritual aspect of Malchus (as does the moon btw which is why we are so connected to rosh chodesh), and men reflect their source of the other six active sefiros- chessed- yesod aka zeir anpin.
Malchus receives from zeir anpin and brings that down to the next level.
So too women receive support from men physically, financially emotionally etc and in turn nurture the next level – their children.
However zeir anpin receives from its mother – Malchus of the world above which is nurturing him.
When moshiach comes this higher aspect of Malchus will be revealed.
Tbc. And will get practical in two posts iyhJune 24, 2018 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #1545685
2 brochos we make by the wedding reflect the shift that is to occur (and is already occurring):
In meheira yishoma we say that hopefully, with the coming of moshiach, we will soon hear in the streets, the voice of the chosson and the voice of the kalla!! In golus the kalla, woman, Malchus doesn’t have a voice she just receives. We see this by the chuppa where the husband says harei at, and the kalla is silent. But by moshiachs times the feminine will have their own voice.
Another example in the wedding brochos is that in one we say mesameach chosson vkalla. Who causes the groom and bride to rejoice. This refers to golus where the husband is happy and then makes his wife happy. She receives the happiness from him.
But another brocho says mesameach chosson im hakalla. Where they are both put on the same plane. There will be a feminine happiness that isn’t dependent on the masculine. This will be by Geula.June 24, 2018 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1545692
So now some practical examples – my thoughts. As the world is in a state today ready to receive the Geula any moment, the world has shifted to a much more Geula oriented state than golus state in mentality. I’m thinking of elaborating this in another thread.
As far as women are concerned here’s some examples:
The world has massively changed. It used to be that people had to slave and work really hard just to survive. Much of it was manual labor where women were useless.
So women were a liability. They often couldn’t support themselves and the men had to support them. Of course the women worked just as hard in the house and having the children but the first priority was survival, which I think explains why in the unfortunate case of divorce, everything belonged to the man – because he was doing the essential primary work without which they both couldn’t survive.
Since modernization which lessened much of the manual labor and to the point that today people don’t work too survive, but to have a good income, good food, etc quality, women can be self sufficient and aren’t a liability anymore. In fact single women earn more than single men in the same field in some cases.
So today when a woman gets married, she isn’t a burden to take on, and her husband is her master, rather she is giving up her earning capacity which could’ve rivalled her husband for the sake of building a family – where she won’t be as competent to work when pregnant and with household responsibilities etc. So as a mother and wife, today she is seem as an equal, not a subordinate.June 24, 2018 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1545695
Now what about feminine qualities?
So it used to be feminine qualities were appreciated within the home – and not celebrated in the world at meagre large whereas today, the world really appreciates feminine qualities.
For example the quality of competition vs cooperation. In the past women were valued for their quality of cooperation because it allowed their husbands to dominate at home and thus there was peace in the home and less conflict.
Today the world at large – even the business world appreciates cooperation. Everything is about teammanship. The boss now tries to build a pleasant work environment where everyone is esteemed for the role they play, instead of intimidating everyone and showing who’s boss.
Even cooking is very popular.
Anyhow that’s my thoughts for now. I think I’ve gone on long enough 🙂June 24, 2018 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1545717
ChabadShlucha: You accept that the changes you are quoting must wait till Moshiach comes but until then the status quo described in the Seforim HaKedsoshim between men and women remains?June 25, 2018 7:43 am at 7:43 am #1545789
Halachic changes – many have to wait. Attitude changes could and should change today. That’s a positive thing. To be explained iyhJune 25, 2018 7:44 am at 7:44 am #1545790
For example it used to be because of golus reality that everyone wanted to have boys more than girls because they were celebrated and appreciated more and their qualities were needed more, both physically and spiritually, in a golus world. So there are special tefillos the mothers would say to daven they should have a ben zachar.
Now that feminine qualities are appreciated and needed more both physically and spiritually, many couples want a girl just as much as a boy. Some even more. Yet we still say more brachos when we have a boy because that’s the established minhag and we can’t just change it because we feel different.June 25, 2018 7:45 am at 7:45 am #1545791
What I mean by the fact that its a good thing for men too:
Going back to the beginning of creation – the sun and moon- who represent Mashpia and mekabel- were created equal. The reason why the moon was told to make herself smaller was because of the claim that two kings can’t share the same crown. Someones gotta be boss. So the mekabel become the one dominated and Hashem made it up to get by giving her a bunch of gifts, culminating with a monthly apology for making her smaller as she really should be equal.
In the world between men and women it played out that someone has to be the boss. Otherwise the other one will be. Now it’s better for men and women that men are the boss. Because otherwise, if the woman dominates, the man feels worthless and they don’t have a happy home. Also the man is better suited to lead the home because he is better at making logic based decisions, whereas women are influenced more by emotion. So if someone has to be boss, its the man.June 25, 2018 7:48 am at 7:48 am #1545808
and that’s how the world ran- on a paradigm of domination. Doing Torah and Mitzvos wasn’t natural to the worldly environment- it imposed G-dliness on a seemingly unG-dly world.
Nationalism meant who was going to conquer and subjugate the most nations. etc.
The world is different today. It is much closer to the Geula paradigm than the golus one. Of course one can still choose to live in a golus mentality, but that is simply unfortunate.
The question now changes to instead of who should dominate? to which the answer is the man, to Why do we need to dominate?
I can respect the fact that my husband is better at decision making, and leave that up to him, and my husband can want to term me as a co director in our shlichus, because he recognizes that my role in the marriage and raising the children, (in addition to the few programs I run) bring as many people closer to Yiddishkeit, as the communal and shul events.
Ie we can respect the different gender roles without one dominating the other.
Of course this is still a very delicate balance today and we can’t live this reality fully until Moshiach comes-
for example, women can’t sing in public because men still have a yetzer hara, until Hashem removes it by the Geula,
but allot of progress can be made towards living in a Geula mindframe. And its a different life.June 25, 2018 7:48 am at 7:48 am #1545820
CS: A lot of what you’re writing above is your own deios rather than anything the Seforim HaKedsoshim say.June 25, 2018 9:10 am at 9:10 am #1545863
For example, in 1964, Dov Zlotnick ran a gemara shiur for the men in the neighbourhood. He told the Rebbe about his shiur shiur. The Rebbe asked what the women do. He said they prepare the seudas shlishis. The Rebbe said it’s not good enough. So from then on, he taught his wife the material and she taught it to the women.
This isn’t to say the women told the men to make their own meal. They still prepared the seuda AND got to have their own shiur as well.
Another example: as quoted elsewhere, the gemara says that a kosher wife does the will of her husband. The Rebbe pointed out that that’s fine and good when he husband wants good things. But what if the husbands desires aren’t in line with Torah? In that case, the gemara means osa – the woman has the power to create the desire of the husband. In a feminine nurturing encouraging way, they can change the husband to want what Hashem wants.
One more for now: a chosson and kalla came to the Rebbe wondering if they should do the minhag of the chosson stepping on the kallas foot at the entrance to the yichud room to symbolise vhu yimshol bach.
The Rebbe told them he shouldn’t because if he acts like a proper husband, she will happily allow him to head the home, and if he doesn’t, stepping on her foot is not going to help…June 25, 2018 10:28 am at 10:28 am #1545840
No its not though. See the source printed above, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe pushed for true feminine expression in many ways. I could share stories.
Granted since we’re still in golus, the feminine movement has allot of garbage mixed in, such as suggesting women should act like men, or women should embarrass/ dominate men. But that’s not real femininity. That’s women acting like men have been.
However there definitely has also been a positive shift for appreciating feminine qualities in the world.June 25, 2018 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #1546160ToiParticipant
Seriously, no one cares. Stop pushing your Chabadsky agenda.June 25, 2018 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1546228
CS: A large portion of your comments above are your own interpolation or opinions that are not said by the source(s) you mention.June 27, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1547413
True my personal examples or the way the world has changed today are not in the sources, although I would like to think they are examples of the sources. I would be curious to hear which examples you think are not in line? The sources definitely do discuss a shift towards femininity in the era of Moshiach, and The Rebbe worked hard to help that happen within the frum world even before the feminist movement took place.
In some ways, halacha does reflect that shift in reality as well. For example, in the times of the Rambam, in certain Arab countries, if the husband beat his wife to try to bring her into line as a last resort, so they wouldn’t have to resort to divorce, under certain conditions, he could have been justified. Today, if a husband would beat his wife in a world which has progressed to the point where even goyim see the use of force in general as undesirable, and wife beating as an absolute evil, the wife would immediately be supported by Rabbanim to get a divorce, no matter what his excuse, as today, husbands are expected to lead the home by earning it, not forcing it.
I can give another halachic kind of example if desired but I don’t want to go on unnecessarily.June 27, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1547418
This brings to mind another story of the Rebbe where a couple came to him, and the husband complained that the wife doesn’t respect or listen to him. The Rebbe asked him, “Why should she listen to you?” The husband indignantly responded, “Because I’m the head of the home!” The Rebbe told the husband that that’s not how it works. First, he needs to act like a good husband and head of the home should. If he does that, she will be happy to listen to his opinions and advice.
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