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Why shouldn't women be allowed to do all the mitzvahs that men do?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

Library » Women & Judaism » Women's Mitzvot | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:


I am appaled at your answer (see the answer to "Why doesn't a woman wear a tallit?"). Women of this day have a right to do as men do. Why shouldnt they wear a Tallit? Why shouldn't they read from the Torah? As a woman of the twenty first century, women in the secular world have the same rights as men do. Why shouldn't they in the Jewish world? --Harriette


 


Answer:


G-d didn't want only one type of person in the world. He wanted different people for different purposes, so G-d made all sorts of people. He made Jewish and non Jewish. He made priests, Levites and Israelites. And He made male and female. He made each group of people with a specific spiritual talent, and a lifestyle that achieve each one's spiritual goals. That lifestyle also includes specific commandments. If a priest would live as an Israelite, or vice versa, not only would this involve a series of prohibitions, this would deny that person using his G-d given talents and forgo his achieving personal greatness and fulfillment. 

It is not about being superior or inferior or being able to choose your identity. It is about actualizing a person's potential and accomplishing a purpose that reflects a person's specific essence - as given them by G-d. The commandments each type of person has directs him/her towards achieving his/her proper spiritual profession. Confusing those laws, confuses our spiritual occupations.

So too, the male/female differences are not a matter of being superior or inferior. Each gender has its G-d given spiritual composition and commandments which help that gender be successful. Men cannot hope to realize their goals if they adopt women's mitzvahs instead of their own, nor is the opposite an option. (Please bear in mind also that many, many mitzvahs are crucial for both genders to fulfill.) 

[Ed. note: Also read: "Why don’t Jewish women do the same things men do?" and "Men do & Women are" and "Pray Like a Woman"]


 


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Jewish Identity
Women & Judaism
Women & Judaism » Women's Issues

Torah
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.
Tallit
A prayer shawl. A large four-cornered woolen garment with fringes attached to its corners in a specific manner. This garment is worn by males during the morning prayers, fulfilling the Biblical obligation of attaching fringes to four-cornered garments.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.