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In Judaism, men seem to take on a far greater role than women...

by Mrs. Chana Weisberg


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That all depends on the value system. The exile value system has always been that working on the outside and combating darkness head-on is a far greater role than cultivating the inner, bringing out the inherent good in Creation. This traditionally masculine mode is considered superficially more important, because it is such a needed position throughout the years of exile. It won't be in the era of redemption.

Q: Then what about all this about equal opportunity, women's lib etc.?

A: Nowadays, more and more equal opportunity is available for women, yet many are emerging from this equation wondering if it is really worth it. Disenchanted with present day society. Opportunity is important, but it doesn't address the whole picture.

The feminist movement fought for the need to look at a woman as an intellectual being, her own person, not an object...But it neglected looking at her spiritual needs
Q: That’s because they take it too far and demand exactly the same roles.

A: It’s because of an imbalance in the ideas of feminism. The feminist movement was correct in fighting the stereotypical, unfair depiction of women being objects who are just there for their man, and to dust and shine their floors. The feminist movement fought for the need to look at a woman as an intellectual being, her own person, not an object. It was correct in this area. But it neglected looking at her spiritual needs, and this is what disenchants thinking, modern women. Torah addresses this need.

Q: Despite different roles, their particular roles seem to be secondary ones.

A: Not according to the classic sources. According to the Jewish mystics, they have a higher source.

Q: The husband makes Kiddush

A: Yes, but she's the one who ushers in the whole Shabbat. Because she represents the essence of Shabbat, **being** rather than **doing**.

Unfortunately in our dog-eat-dog society, where people are judged by what they do, not what they are, this is not appreciated. In the era of redemption it will be. Therefore, at that time, "a woman will supercede her man."

You may also want to read "Men do and women are" .


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Women's roles

Posted by: Varda, Toronto, ON, Canada on Mar 03, 2006

I like the comment made by Ms. Chana Weisberg on how women are valued for "being," not just for "doing." In our modern western society, we unfortunately value each other only for what we accomplish; we don't respect each other's sheer existence. For example, it is now fashionable to treat babies as nothing more than cute accessories, rather than as multi-dimensional human beings. So, there should be a balance between valuing accomplishment and existence--with existence coming first. Indeed, those we should and do care about more are those who have no credentials of success. We (the Jews) don't neglect them (by throwing them into jail, for example); instead, we help them grow because we value their being.
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Prayer recited at the beginning of the Sabbath or Holiday meal--both the evening and afternoon meals. This prayer, acknowledging the sanctity of the day, is recited over a cup of wine or grape juice.