Women’s mitzvot….or not?
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- This topic has 29 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 6 months ago by tzippi.
November 24, 2008 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #588724
There have been some very lively discussions about women’s issues- learning torah sheba-al peh, sheitels, driving…etc..
Allow me to discuss a very special matter that has come to the fore-saying kaddish for a departed parent. What do the “posters” know about this?November 24, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #626278
YUP- a woman saying kaddish.November 24, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #626279
so youre waiting for people to post that it is not proper or assur, then you will respond with a list of quotes, maasehs, and mekoros to refute them?November 24, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm #626280oomisParticipant
A woman has no chiyuv whatsoever to say kaddish – BUT – she may do so quietly in Shul, in a manner that does not unduly draw attention to herself. When my parents were niftar, I did not say Kaddish, but my friend who lost her parents and has no brothers or other male relatives, asked a shailah and was permitted to do so. She made the minyan every day and said kaddish from the ezras nashim. I do not advocate for this, but I do understand that there are women who have the need to express themselves when they are in aveilus. Since it is not assur, kol hakovod to them. It is a big commitment, and I have great respect for the men who fulfill that commitment faithfully.
My personal hashkafa is that women should first faithfully and properly do those mitzvos for which they DO have an achrayus, before attempting to take on mitzvos for which they have never had any obligation.November 24, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #626281
From what I’ve seen in various shuls, there is no issue about a woman saying Kaddish if there is a man saying as well. The question seems to be if there is no man saying Kaddish. It seems to me, and I’ve never looked into this at all, the issue is that Kaddish is a “davar sh’bikdusah” and we do not say devarim sh’bikdusha without a minyan. Since a woman is not mitztareif to a minyan, how can she say Kaddish? The flip side to this is if there is a minyan (i.e. 10 men) present, why can’t a woman say kaddish just the same way she might answer to the kaddish of another, or say kedusha in the chazarat hashatz? Does the recitation of a davar sh’bikdusah require that it be said from within a minyan, or merely in the presence of a minyan? I believe the answer is the former, that Kaddish must be recited by someone from within the minyan. By way of analogy, we’ve all seen men, who arriving late for Ma’ariv, say Barchu at the end and everyone answers. That is allowed since the man saying the Borchu is of the minyan. A women, who ran late for maariv could not do that. Again I haven’t looked into this, and these are my knee jerk reactions. I also must add that I have seen women say Kaddish alone in many MO shuls. There is no question in my mind that the rabbis who sanction this practice have a Halachik basis for it.November 25, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am #626282
I know women who have said kaddish for their parents. They said it out loud, the same way a man would.
When I turned 12, my uncle asked if I wanted to take over saying kaddish on my fathers yartzeit. I tried it once, but it wasnt really for me. I agree with oomis about worrying about the things I have to first. I told this to my friend who wears tefillin (as to why I dont 😉 and she went on a rampage 🙂November 25, 2008 2:57 am at 2:57 am #626283BogenParticipant
My question is as follows. We all know traditionalists will never do any of these neo-feminist pseudo-religious ideas.
So why are we discussing hypothetics that is essentially limited, in practice, to the fringes?November 25, 2008 8:31 am at 8:31 am #626284blue shirtParticipant
Bogen: Because women said kaddish in the early 1900s in Lithuania, specifically in the shuls of Radin and Eishishok, and sometimes from the back of the ezras gevarim and not from the ezras nashim. See Yaffa Eliach’s eyewitness account in her book , “There Once Was a World”, a 900 year history of the town of Eishishok. Sorry, but it’s not “fringes” Judaism in the least.November 25, 2008 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #626285
Because Bogen, outside of New York and other areas of great chareidi concentration, what you call the “fringes” is in fact mainstream. Drive three hours in any diretion out of NYC and you will encounter a far different landscape of Orthdox Judaism, where what you consider to be on the fringes is in fact the only form of Orthodoxy available. Those Jews are not radical in their beliefs. They are not looking to be provocative or buck the system. They are highly committed Jews who strive to observe Halacha despite the great many challenges facing them in those places and despite their small numbers. To do that and to create communities of even minimal vitality they allow for what you derisively label “fringe” Judaism. So while you might consider the issue of a woman saying Kaddish to be merely theoretical, for many others, it is of vital importance.November 25, 2008 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #626286
to feivel- do you think my question was frivolous? Absolutely, I’d like to hear from people on this website (just as some have already answered) and yes, I would put in my two poor cents into it and write what I know of this minhag. I fail to see why it should bother you if this question is brought up.November 25, 2008 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #626287
to bogen….as you have already heard, this is absolutely NOT (as you write)”neo-feminist pseudo religious ideas”. Well, unless you consider the “Chavas Jo-ir” (early 17th century), the “Nodah be-jehuda”( mid 18th century), the “Chelkas Yaakov”,(late 18th century) the “Be-er heitav”,(late 19th century), the “Kitzur Shulchan Aruch” (mid 19th century) and others, “neo-feminist pseudo-religious” thinkers.
I will IYH show you that this question goes back quite a while and indeed, is a lot more complicated than you think. I’ll elaborate later and bring down actual “mar-eh mekomos”.
My thanks to ‘blue shirt’ for his quote from Yaffa Eliach’s book. I did not know about this one.November 25, 2008 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #626288
“to feivel- do you think my question was frivolous?”
“I fail to see why it should bother you if this question is brought up”
it doesnt.November 25, 2008 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #626289
feivel-thanks for considering my question ‘crafty”. I am not sure it is a compliment or whatever…November 25, 2008 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #626290
it is both a compliment and whatever…November 25, 2008 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #626291Mayan_DvashParticipant
cantoresq, you don’t even have to go 3 hours out of NYC, about 1 hour is enough.November 25, 2008 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #626292
cantoresq, you don’t even have to go 3 hours out of NYC, about 1 hour is enough.
okNovember 25, 2008 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #626293
Blue Shirt, I have no problem with a woman saying Kaddish, FWIW. The question is, is this being yotzei? And does the woman get to shul as often as possible, like 3x a day, to say it at every opportunity? So there are two things here – the permissibility of a woman saying kaddish, and the optimal way to have Kaddish said as an aliyah for the neshama, which I assumed entails a son, or a relative or friend who will assume the obligation.November 25, 2008 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #626294
tzippi, I posed the question,knowin soem answers. It really has application only if there are NO male descendants to say the kaddish. I am not sure what you mean by being “yoitzei”. Kaddish is said for the benefit of the soul of the “niftar”. so I am not sure what you mean by “yoitzei”.
It would make no difference if it is a woman. If she can go to shul morning and evening, “tavo aleha brocho”. If she cannot, it is no different than a son who is unable (at times) to be in shul.
And, to your last remark, the question arises, why should you have a stranger (even if it is a good friend) say kaddish if you can have a blood relative say it.November 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am #626295Mrs. BeautifulMember
when My mother in law lost her father, since there were no men in the family to say Kaddish, they paid a cousin to say Kaddish for the first year and to daven before the Amed.
Obviously if u daven in an orthodox shul women dont say kaddish.November 26, 2008 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #626296noitallmrParticipant
The most interesting part in this topic is why the line in cantoresq’s comment went outside the box??????November 26, 2008 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #626297Yanky55Participant
The Rav (R’ Yoshe Ber, for those who don’t know who “The Rav” was) had no problem with a woman saying Kaddish, even if she was the only one saying it.
Then again, the Rav was a Zionist so what did he know?November 26, 2008 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #626298
The most interesting part in this topic is why the line in cantoresq’s comment went outside the box??????
How about that my knee jerk reaction was to be machmir?November 26, 2008 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #626299
MrsBeautiful, sorry to disappoint you but plenty of women in ORTHODOX shuls say kaddish. The minhag you quote has been prevalent for years but the actual fact is that women can and do say kaddish for a departed parent, if there is no one to say kaddish.November 26, 2008 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #626300
Mrs Beautiful – you are wrong! While it is uncommon for a women to say kaddish, it is NOT forbidden. It would be nice if people stopped deciding that everything other people do is wrong even though its not.November 26, 2008 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #626301AnonymousInactive
If you make you font size smaller on your screen it will fit in.November 26, 2008 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #626302
Ideally though, or am I wrong, kaddish should be said at every opportunity with a minyan. How many women can commit to that for 11 months?November 26, 2008 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #626303
tzippi- true, but how many MEN can commmit to this??
I know of many people who had a loss but could not always say kaddish. This did not make them neglect it totally. You do what you can.November 26, 2008 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #626304
Tzippi – ideally, there is a man who can say kaddish. One particular woman I know had a brother who was not really going to say kaddish, so she took it upon herself. And yes, she said kaddish with a minyan for 11 months.November 26, 2008 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #626305
re rabbi of Berlin: some, at least the ones I know. And when one couldn’t because of work related frequent travel (he was covering for a FIL who only had daughters and was the closest of the sons in law) another BIL took over.
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