Women Shouldn’t Be Expected To Work
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- This topic has 60 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 7 months ago by Reb Eliezer.
August 2, 2021 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #1996505
It’s the man’s duty and obligation. Women have the right to choose to exclusively be housewives and decline to do any work outside their home. No one, not the husband and not the schools and not society, have the right to deny her that right.
It is her absolute traditional role to be the Akeres Habayis and remain in the home as its mainstay and bedrock.August 2, 2021 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #1996515
My wife a’h wanted gold jewelry, silver utensils and crystal glasses, so she worked for it.August 2, 2021 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1996519
No question they have that default “right” if both parties have come into the marriage with an understanding and acceptance of “traditional roles”. However, circumstances change and the wife may need to work to help support the family if the husband becomes unable/unwilling to earn a sufficient income or if the woman decides she wants to pursue a professional career (e.g. once the kids start school and she is able to balance the needs of being a mother and spouse along with whatever else she might do outside the home). Many of today’s younger frum women could care less about gold jewelry, crystal stemware or sterling serving pieces but want to work for the intellectual and personal challenges it provides.August 2, 2021 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1996518Yserbius123Participant
OK. That’s your prerogative if you so choose. You may work and bring home a parnassa to support your family and Hashem may bless you with either having your finances in order, or having a whole family that’s content with whatever level of disorder they are in.
But that’s a personal choice between an individual and his wife.August 3, 2021 1:41 am at 1:41 am #1996530
A man’s divinely imposed obligations cannot be relegated to “traditional gender roles”. A man who supports a family is serving Hashem every minute he works, if he has that in mind.
For a woman, it’s either a tremendous zchus in helping support Torah, or a necessary evil to help support the family. Or it’s poisonous careerism, a dereliction of duty and a statement that Hashem does not know how to run his world cv”s.August 3, 2021 1:42 am at 1:42 am #1996524
Yseribus: I’m making the point that the wife — unilaterally — has the right to choose not to work. It isn’t her natural, traditional and Torah role to go to work outside the home.
Nor is it ideal for her to even choose to work outside the home. At best, it is a b’dieved utilized when circumstances compel it.August 3, 2021 1:43 am at 1:43 am #1996534
I should have clarified that there are definitely circumstances where working is a good idea, if a woman has extra time and isn’t ready to do things like volunteer for chessed, etc, then the alternative of wasting time and sitting idly is much worse than sacrificing the idealism of kol kevudah bas melech penimoh. Chazal say that batalah leads to licentiousness and madness.August 3, 2021 9:32 am at 9:32 am #1996604NechomahParticipant
I don’t think that this is the type of decision where one side or the other can unilaterally decide things. This is something that has to be discussed by both spouses and probably even ask daas Torah if there are two very divergent viewpoints.August 3, 2021 9:35 am at 9:35 am #1996619
Does anyone else realize what happens when you translate “pursuing a livelihood” into lashon hakodesh? “Redifah achar hamamon”…kinda makes you think of it differently…should we really be using such language when referring to the mitzvah of earning a livelihood? Do we likewise say that one is “pursuing” tzedaka or the mitzvah of tefilin?
Acharei mitzvosecha tirdof nafshi…. our souls should chase and pursue mitzvos…. just a thoughtAugust 3, 2021 9:38 am at 9:38 am #1996618
Also, ujm…while there is no Din that a woman must help her family have a parnosa, there is likewise no Din that a man must support his children once they are of age to beg and/or work.
I think it’s extremely selfish, and perhaps a violation lf lo saamod al dam reicha if a woman’s family is starving, the husband is unable to work, and she “unilaterally” decides to sit by and do nothing. While perhaps a beis din cannot force her, it is the normal, natural thing to do when one’s family needs her to help.
The Torah wasn’t given to vildeh chayos and pereh odom’sAugust 3, 2021 9:38 am at 9:38 am #1996613american_yerushalmiParticipant
Sounds like the sages of the CR ought to immediately get in touch with all the Gedolei Torah, all of whom seem to have forgotten this important halacha.August 3, 2021 10:14 am at 10:14 am #1996682
Senator Elizbeth Warren wrote a book The Two Income Trap. It is an insurance for one spouse being laid off, getting sick or providing for unexpected expenses.August 3, 2021 10:16 am at 10:16 am #1996677
AY: How many fingers do you need to count how many Gedolei Yisroel sent their wives to work on Wall Street or in tumah Corporate America or, for that matter, any employment outside their home working for someone else? Any?
Where did you get this incorrect idea that the Gedolim advised Klal Yisroel to disregard Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Penima? The Shulchan Aruch paskens as a matter of halacha that a woman should not leave the home often. Rambam actually gives a number of times per month that should be the maximum (and it is much less than you’ll guess.)August 3, 2021 11:35 am at 11:35 am #1996673akupermaParticipant
1. Why is a “stay at home” mother considered to be “not working.” If she accepted a paid position as a cook, cleaning lady, housekeeper, nanny, governess, and chauffeur, she would be considered to be employed.
2. Our community has a long tradition of women engaging in economic activities (either employment or entrepreneurship) while males have a long tradition of scholarship. The idea that the primary duty of a male is to make lots of money is in fact alien to our culture. For Yidden, the “manly” thing to do is to learn Torah, and failing to do so and getting rich instead makes one a bit off by our standards.
EditedAugust 3, 2021 11:38 am at 11:38 am #1996687🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Wow joseph, fetishes are so hard to leave behind, even if they expose you. And I’m still trying to figure out if your side kick is a stroke of luck or a sock.August 3, 2021 11:40 am at 11:40 am #1996692
AY – the gedolei yisroel were and are extremely upset over the way things are nowadays. They’re more concerned, however, about the pitfalls of unfiltered internet and social media. At the major asifa for post seminary women a few weeks ago, kol kevudah in that context was not discussed, because they pick their battles. They know the generation and what’s the ikkar vs what’s the tofel.August 3, 2021 11:48 am at 11:48 am #1996694
Also, I’ll have to take issue with tha assertion that gedolei yisroel did not have their wives work outside the home. Rebbetzim kanievsky worked as a bookkeeper for many years. Many rebbetzins had jobs.August 3, 2021 11:50 am at 11:50 am #1996699
Gedolim are chachamim who recognize reality and don’t ask people something they will not follow.August 3, 2021 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #1996720
how about here are 5 names that I can rattle off without even thinking.
Novaminska Rebitzen [CSW]
Lubabivicher Rebitzen [ librarian Brooklyn Public Library]
Rebitzen Feinstein [wife of Reb Dovid} [public school principal]
Rebitzen David [daughter of Rav Hutner] [ Professor in College]
Rebitzen Twerski [psychologist]August 3, 2021 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #1996697
ujm, circumstances change halacha. Everyone agrees that it would be better for her not to work. Schar Halimud and general livelihood for a big family have skyrocketed. It also says עשה שבתך חול ואל תצטרך לבריות, make your shabbos like a weekday and don’t rely on people. As mentioned above, if something unexpected happens, a family will have no natural lifeline. Also, אין סומכין על הנס, don’t rely on miracles.August 3, 2021 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1996706
“The Shulchan Aruch paskens as a matter of halacha that a woman should not leave the home often….”
UJM: Not certain of your gender or marital status but if you or your family members are taking this literally, I suspect there will be some ramifications for the shidduch crisis (without consideration for the legal consequences if you attempt to enforce such a prohibition).August 3, 2021 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #1996729
Some of these comments (or trolls) about locking women in the house push the envelope of mycogonistic traditions of other cultures, most notably the German axiom of “Kinder, Küche un Kirche” (aka make children, work in the Kitchen and leave home only for Church). It is also self-destructive for the very communities that need to have more frum women accessible in professional roles as physicians, mental health professionals, educators, financial advisors, attorneys and other non-traditional career paths.August 3, 2021 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #1996732
My boss was a Rebetzin Lieff, Rav Schneiderman’s daughter.August 3, 2021 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1996698HarotzehbilumshmoParticipant
Strange that chazal made this irrelevant takana of maaseh yodeho lbaaloh…..August 3, 2021 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #1996799
Gadol: “if you or your family members are taking this literally”
Why would anyone *not* take the Shulchan Aruch literally?!?August 3, 2021 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #1996878
As several other posters have noted, some words/directives of SA must be interpreted in the context of contemporary society, norms technology etc. If you mamash adhere to the “literal” interpretation of some words of the SA, you may find yourself in violation of civil and criminal laws in the country where you reside. Holding your wife “captive” to your home and/or physically limiting her trips to the number specified by the Rambam is not a good strategy for shalom bayis .August 3, 2021 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #1996899
Gadol: You consider yourself a greater expert in Shalom Bayis than the Rambam to the point you’re calling out the Rambam’s “mistake”?
Shulchan Aruch was written concisely and with the intention to be taken in literal form. Furthermore, as a general point (not necessarily/specifically being made for this topic), when there’s a conflict between Halacha and secular law, Yidden are obligated to give precedence to Halacha between the two.
But most important to how you presented your comment is that there’s every reason to give the benefit in assuming every Jewish woman would voluntarily and very happily adhere to Halacha, rather than your implied assumption that it would be necessary for anyone to enforce it upon her.August 3, 2021 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #1996913
“there’s every reason to give the benefit in assuming every Jewish woman would voluntarily and very happily adhere to Halacha” [and willingly stay locked at home]
UJM: Not sure what world you live in but I doubt many Jewish women (frum or otherwise) would “voluntarily” adhere to any arbitrary limit on when they can leave their homes, with or without their husband’s approval. Prior posters have made clear that there is NO such requirement as evidenced by the multiple instances of wives of gadolei yisroel working outside the home. If some baas yisroel wants to live such a life, thats her choice. However, even as a theoretical construct, your assertions regarding what SA requires are making no sense so I’ll just leave it at that and allow you to have the last word. Misogynistic trolls are currently very much out of vogue.August 3, 2021 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1996920
Gadol: Are you accusing the Rambam of making up an “arbitrary” set limit when he codified the Halacha? Are you implying that whereas the Halacha was correct and proper in the times of the Rambam and the Mechaber, today that changed and the codified Halacha needs to be whited-out from the Shulchan Aruch what was correct and proper then is no longer now and, as such, the Halacha has changed? At what time in history after Klal Yisroel accepted the Shulchan Aruch did this particular halacha go from being in force to it being cancelled? And where is this change documented in sh”ut Seforim that we no longer adhere to this halacha?; and which great rabbis (Rav Shlomo Riskin? Rav Avi Weiss?) wrote the teshuva?
If this is your position, please explain how your position is any different than that of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards that every so often updates, modifies, deletes and/or adds to Halacha. Such as when in the 1950s they decided driving to shul on Shabbos is now permissible even while acknowledging that the “old halacha” prohibited it. How is what you’re suggesting different in principal, even if you perhaps differ from them on individual halachos that you consider need to be changed for the 20th/21st centuries.August 4, 2021 12:11 am at 12:11 am #1996972Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
we learn that women can not stay idle at home and are supposed to be busy at something, right?
Eshe Chayil lists lots of things to do in a normal household. By now, men, with Hashem’s help, automated most of these activities. Women world over, follow the halakha above, increased their standards of cleanliness and tideness to the level that never existed in history, but still … So, if women are to only stay home and, in many Jewish families, send kids to schools and often using household help (sometimes cheap even if not very legal) – they should be doing something useful. They could teach their kids at professional level, for example. If not, then there is a question about even volunteer stay at home. [My wife did while kids were little and she was fully engaged with them].
As to women who want to work outside, I agree with Gadol here, there are plenty of precedents of women working and having businesses. It is possible that some Rabbis give public advice as a desirable social policy, but that does not mean that specific individuals can not balance home and work.
Also, notice that “not leaving home often” in old times does not mean that the woman will be doing only housework. People were running businesses from their homes all the time. She could be weaving baskets, running a school, a restaurant, while infrequently going out. Being a traveling salesman (and still is) not a good job choice. Now, with WFH, we came full circle and frumme women can do heart surgery online without leaving the kids.August 4, 2021 12:15 am at 12:15 am #1996958ataracParticipant
Holy Jewish women have probably worked outside the home in every generation. The Bubba of most of the people in this room, Gluckel of Hameln, was a businesswoman who often traveled abroad for work. Granted her situation was somewhat exceptional (her being a widow) but when there is a genuine need it ok.August 4, 2021 10:33 am at 10:33 am #1997059
AA Questions: Obviously UJM has some troubled agenda with women so I wouldn’t waste time responding to his troll. Obviously, in today’s society, a frum woman may choose to forego a career and WORK at home raising a family. That is HER choice informed by the lifestyle she and her husband had agreed to when they married and also perhaps with input from her LRP. However, most frum you and I know do not subscribe to the Rambam’s so called “quota” on their allowable monthly trips outside the house.
P.S. We also get periodic threads here about how yidden are entitled to administer summary execution of other yidden for their having committed certain aveirahs, with the pro forma follow up clarifications about only when having an active sanhedrin, etc. Good troll topics for a slow August news day but not worth engaging.August 4, 2021 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #1996901smerelParticipant
I shouldn’t be responding to this trollish thread but even assuming women don’t need to work if a women is sitting around and doing nothing productive all day her husband has the right to force her to get a job as per the Gemorah and Shulchan Aruch.August 4, 2021 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #1997071
Nice trying to confuse two issues, gadol, after having foresworn responding and declaring you’re done replying here and that others can have the last word. Quick change of heart, I must say. But no one has ever proposed that executions are legally viable under Jewish law governing the conduct of our lives today, living under a Torah based and enforced system that we currently have in exile. Such a penalty is officially suspended until Moshiach comes.
On the other hand, the topic we’re discussing here regarding how each gender is obligated to govern their lives is specifically relevant regarding our contemporary lifestyle today. The Shulchan Aruch and Rambam codify the laws we’re obligated to live by in the here and now.August 4, 2021 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #1997073
FYI if anyone wants to see the source being discussed, they’re Rambam Hilchos Ishus 13:11 and Shulchan Aruch EH 73:1.August 4, 2021 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #1997089
smerel: Please cite the alleged “Gemorah and Shulchan Aruch”.August 4, 2021 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #1997155
The Aruch Hashulchan paskens O’CH 75 that men can daven infront of women’s uncovered hair.
שו”ת יביע אומר חלק ו – אורח חיים סימן יג
ואמרתי להביא קצת סמך נוסף להנ”ל, ממ”ש הלבוש בסוף או”ח (מנהגים אות לו), שאע”פ שכ’ בספר חסידים שבכל מקום שאנשים ונשים רואים זא”ז בסעודת נישואין, אין לברך שהשמחה במעונו, לפי שאין שמחה לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא כשיש הרהורי עבירה, מ”מ אין נזהרין עכשיו בזה, וה”ט משום שעכשיו מורגלות הנשים הרבה בין האנשים, ואין כאן הרהורי עבירה כ”כ, דדמיין באפן כקאקי חיורי מרוב הרגלן בינינו וכיון דדשו דשו. עכ”ל. ומכבר הבאתי סיוע לזה ממ”ש בס’ לקט יושר (חיו”ד עמוד לז) בשם הגאון מהרא”י בעל תה”ד, וז”ל: עוד אמר שמותר לילך אחר אשת חבר או אחר אמו, משום דבזמן הזה אין מוזהרים כ”כ מלילך אחר אשה. ע”כ. ונראה טעמו כמ”ש הלבוש שבזה”ז מרוב הרגלן בינינו דמיין באפן כקאקי חיוריAugust 4, 2021 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1997178hujuParticipant
ujm: Would you care to tell us your age and education? My guess is that you are 19 and attended a yeshiva that spends very little time on secular subjects.August 4, 2021 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #1997176
The source of this is the above Levush that man don’t get affected any more as women are involved in masoh umaton, business, they became accustomed to it. See the above teshuva in great detail.August 4, 2021 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #1997175
Reb Eliezer: The Aruch Hashulchan denounces in no uncertain very strong terms the terrible state where women left their hair uncovered.August 4, 2021 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #1997185
ujm, the Aruch Hashulchan accepts it based on the Levush but not the MB and don’t bring proofs from what it should be but what it is. Could be, should be, the fact is that currently women go to work and men became used to it and does not effect them any more. Look at the above teshuva which discusses the Aruch Hashulchan’s question which is very interesting.August 4, 2021 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1997207
According to the Levush, once the women decided to go to work, men got used to it and now a man can expect her to go to work as it does not effect the men or the women anymore.August 4, 2021 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1997210
The Levush certainly applies by unmarried girls who don’t have to cover their hair.August 4, 2021 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1997214
huju: It is considered impolite to ask a grandparent their age. As far as education, following a bit over five years in Kollel (which includes a bachelors), it took an additional three years (including the required internship) to obtain the degree and work requirements for the chosen career.August 4, 2021 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #1997291
By the way, much credit to the Chasidim on this issue. By and large, the default among Chasidishe wives is that they do not have careers or full time jobs (outside the home.) Indeed, it is very rare that any do have something like a 40 hour workweek outside. In fact, a majority or close to it might not work altogether as anything other than a housewife.August 5, 2021 12:57 am at 12:57 am #1997310Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
by the way “going to work” came about in industrial age. Before that, a lot of “work” was done at home, often jointly with family members. Selling and procuring materials required travel, but not from all.August 5, 2021 1:09 am at 1:09 am #1997297
@ujm, speak for yourself, Im from Rebbisj stock, my daughter is a CSW, DILs one has a double masters and other is a RN, Son in wear a stramil, Sons wear vaser zukin, in all 3 Yiddish is the langauge at homeAugust 5, 2021 2:49 am at 2:49 am #1997320
CS: Yeridos Hadoros.August 5, 2021 9:47 am at 9:47 am #1997358
Chasiddim stay home to take care of many children as caretakers cost much money.August 5, 2021 11:54 am at 11:54 am #1997409
@ujm, I see you taking the habit of your buddy AAQ of saying things with no basis of fact, just so happens that all 3 of my children run a far more chasidisher sheeb then I do
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