Volume 19 Number 18
                       Produced: Wed Apr  5 23:02:01 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Woman's Role???
         [Yus Lesser]
About Men
         [Jeff Korbman]
Just Imagine...
         [Esther R Posen]
Nashim Daatan Kalot
         [David Katz]
NYS Get law
         [M Horowitz]
Torah and Roles
         [Gayle Statman]
Women and Halacha
         [Moshe Waldoks]
Women and Multitasking  19 #4
         ["Neil Parks"]
Women and Shofar.
         [Zvi Weiss]
Women and Shofer Blowing
         [Michael J Broyde]
Women saying Kaddish
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Women Wearing Pants
         [Ari Shapiro]


From: <blesser@...> (Yus Lesser)
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 22:46:54 -0400
Subject: Re: A Woman's Role???

FYI: R. Sternbuch's article can be found in volumes II of Mo'adim
U'Z'manim, S'man 169, R. Sternbuch refers to (2) levels of obligation of
talmud torah.  The first level being fulfilled with the recitation of
Shema, twice daily, see tractate Nedarim 8b. The second level, if I
understand it correctly, is that of continous obligation, according to
one's ability and potential. It is an obligation to probe deeply into
the Torah, to learn B'eyun. This concept was previouly advanced by the
Ohr S'meiach, in regard to the Rambam's Hilchos Talmud Torah. This same
concept of multiple levels of the obligation of talmud torah, can be
clearly seen in the RAN on the same subject of Nedarim 8b. R.
Sternbuch's discussion is referring to the meaning of how the obligation
to hear the megillah on Purim can push aside the obligation to learn
torah. I will not enter the discussion of the nature of a woman's role
in these matters. Certainly no one should argue that knowledge of torah,
mitzvos and knowledge of the derech hashem is gender exclusive.


From: <jekorbman@...> (Jeff Korbman)
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 1995 10:33:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: About Men

As I understand it, women are not obligated for positive time-bound
mitzvoth because of their responsibilities (at least historically) to
raise the kids back home.  In fact, because of this norm of role,
whether the women is a teenager with no children, or older with the kids
no longer living at home, or simply single, we say "lo plug" - no matter
what the circumstance she is not obligated.  Is that true?

The reason why I ask is because I found myself trying to get to shul to
daven with a minyan this past shabbos, and my daughter, Aviva, was
really not in the mood to put on her clothes and leave.  (She wanted to
eat M&Ms) As a single father, it felt a bit funny.  There I was,
obligated to daven b'tzibur, while my neighbor and friend Heidi was just
across from me, lighting her candles, trying to get her daughter dressed
etc..  but she has no obligation because of her role at home.

Now I know, that you can not tailor make halacha for each individual,
and ultimately I can accept that once a man, always a man; or once a
woman, always a woman, but I wonder: Can one's obligation in this regard
change based on life circumstance?  Is there any discussion about stuff
like this, or is "Lo Plug, ask your Rav" what it comes down to?



From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 1995 12:15:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Just Imagine...

The Just Imagine scenario was important to help us all develop
compassion and empathy.  It obviously isn't, nor was it intended to be a
prediction of the future.  The question remains - are women
intrinsically created by g-d to embrace their "role" in the religion.
Would men find the "Just Imagine" scenarios more difficult not because
of the role they are used to having (which will most certainly play a
part) but because of their very nature.



From: David Katz <dkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 21:02:57 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Nashim Daatan Kalot

The context of the quote from Chazal, "Nashim Daatan Kalot" is in
regards to the laws of men & women not being alone in a private area
(hilchot Yichud).  The Mishna in the 4th chapter of kiddushin states
that a man may not be alone with 2 women although a woman may be alone
with 2 men.  The Talmud, in explaining why the rules vis a vis 1 man and
2 women is more stict than 1 woman and 2 men, states that since women
are "Daatan Kalot" we don't rely on the presence of Woman B to deter
non-appropriate behavior on the part of Woman A.

According to Yehudah Edelstein's explanation, this would mean that we
don't trust Woman B to stop Woman A because Woman B may be too busy
doing the dishes!  I find this to be a little bit far-fetched.  His
explanation sounds nice when taken out of context and certainly serves
the concept of "apologetics" towards women well, but does not really fit
in to the context of the rabbinic quote.

David Katz


From: M Horowitz <BR00318@...>
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 95 23:42:51 ECT
Subject: NYS Get law

Could someone explain the NYS get law?


From: Gayle Statman <gayle_statman@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 95 10:30:29 EST
Subject: Re: Torah and Roles

Zvi Weiss wrote

>R. Moshe states that it is legit. for a women to do actions that she 
>is not commanded to do if the basis for doing so is solely because 
>she has a tremendous desire to fulfill a commandment  -- even though 
>she was not commanded to perform that commandment.  

I think I've asked this before to this list, but in a slightly different
way...  According the Chofetz Chaim's book of mitzvot, men are commanded
to marry and have children; women are NOT obligated in this mitzvah.  So
does this mean that any woman who DOES get married does so SOLELY
because she has a tremendous desire to fulfill a mitzvah?  Or does she
get married because she wants to get married, have children, raise a
family, etc.?

Also, while I cannot cite specifics, it seems to me that a woman's role
is often rooted in the home--doing all of those essential things to
enable her husband to study Torah and to raise her children in a
Yiddishkeit environment.  How does this notion fit with the fact that
she is not even obligated to have a husband or children?



From: <WALDOKS@...> (Moshe Waldoks)
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 1995 10:35:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Women and Halacha

I once heard Yishayahu Leibowitz z"l say that it will take the halacha
time to realize that the "isha" it refers to in the tradition does not
apply to the "isha" of today. While this transformation is more
complicated than the introduction of electricity, etc which the halacha
was able to digest in relativley short time- the fact that a new kind of
woman has emerged in modern times is far more threatening. It isn't fair
to judge halachic process on women's issues when the halacha is
constantly referring to a woman who was solely at the mercy of her
husband and male society.
 I predict that we will soon see, with the growth of Jewish women,
enagged in creating the means of sustenance for their families that
"mitzvot aseh she-hazman grama" framework will apply to all those who
care for children whether they be male or female. This would be the
natural way for halacha to expand its authority. It would also open up
the space for "professional" women of all sorts being a different
category than the traditional "isha" and thus encourage women rabbis,
poskim, and officers in the larger Jewish commnunity.
 Moshe Waldoks


From: "Neil Parks" <nparks@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 95 13:40:33 EDT
Subject: Women and Multitasking  19 #4

>>: Yehudah Edelstein said:
>...     Usually a woman would be the secretary in a office,
>coordinating all the phone calls, appointments, typeing etc., doing many
>things all at once. Same thing by a housewife, cooking and cleaning the
>house, on the phone and helping the children with their homework etc. By
>men you won't find them doing several things simultaneously, but rather
>in a queued order.  

Hmmm...so that explains why Desqview is so much better at multitasking than 
Windoze--the president of Quarterdeck Inc. is a woman!  <G> <G> :-)

     NEIL PARKS  Beachwood, Ohio    <nparks@...>


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 12:05:04 -0500
Subject: Re:  Women and Shofar.

Women are *not* obligated in the mitzvah of SHofar, per se.  IT is quite
clear that this is a time-dependent mitzva from which women are exluded.

However, anyone can accpet a "neder" upon one's self -- in fact, the
performance of a minhag 3 times in a row can sometimes be considered a

*If* we say that women are obligated in Shofar because of neder, it does
not change the fact that they are -- basically -- not obligated in the
Mitzva of Shofar.  For example, one can apply for Hatarat Nedarim.

Rather than focus on this one aspect of women apparently accepting a
stringency as a neder upon themselves, it might be more interesting to
expand this area to see areas where -- in general -- women have accepted
chumrot and how CHAZAL or later Rabbanim have responded.



From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 11:55:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Women and Shofer Blowing

One of the writers states that although women were excempt from hearing 
shofar blowing, they have taken it upon themselves and are not longer 
excempt.  It is important to distinguish between law and custom here.  
Women are still excempt from the mitzvah.  There is a widely prevalent 
custom that owmen come to shofar blowing that does not rise to the level 
of a formal legal obligation of "chiuv."
Michael Broyde


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 1995 19:00:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

> One of my objections to the position of Joel Roth (that a women may be
> m'chuyevet [obligated] in davening [prayer] is that it interferes w/the
> man's obligation.  In other words, they can't both run out for davening
> three times a day, because somebody has to look after the kids.
> Yet I understand that the Rav (Soloveitchik) holds that a woman who is
> an aveil [mourner] and who has no siblings who are reciting Kaddish
> "should" recite Kaddish daily.  Is this indeed how he holds?  If so, how
> is her husband to meet his chiyuv [obligation] to daven?
> Eric Mack    <ce157@...>

Well, the same way she would accomplish it if she were a single parent, 
or the same way a single male parent would accomplish it... hire a 
babysitter or ask someone to watch the children.  Or, the same way 
men miss minyan for various reasons, e.g. having to be at work: have the 
husband daven at home and miss minyan.  

Depending on the  number and age of children, it might be possible to 
bring them along.

There's no particular reason to assume a wife is always available to take 
care of the children when a husband wants to go to shul, either. Maybe she's 
at work.  I used to see a young father in shul who brought a daughter of an 
age where she really did not belong in shul... he came only because he 
was saying kaddish. She made a mess and noise, but for short prayers like 
mincha or maariv it was not a big problem. Everyone understood.  I never saw 
him at shacharit; maybe he committed to saying kaddish just once a day. 

I would be interested in seeing or hearing what the source for Rabbi 
Soloveitchik's ruling is; I haven't seen this one.

Aliza Berger


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 95 09:47:15 EDT
Subject: Women Wearing Pants

<With a bit of sarcasm, I thank Ari for settling these long-time issues
<that people like the Rav never managed to come to grips with. Co-ed
<schools are not un-halachik, neither is wearing pants (a very complex
<issue, connected to societal norms, dealt with on many levels by various
<Torah personalities)

I know of the following mekoros(sources) about women wearing pants. The
following poskim all prohibit women from wearing pants period: R' Weiss
(of the Eda HaChareidis), Shut Shevet Halevi, the Tzitz Eliezer(Volume
11,52), The following claim that there is no issur of lo yilbash(a woman
cannot wear man's clothing): Mekor Chaim, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Yaskil Avdi.
However, they all prohibit pants because of a lack of tznius.  Rav
Ovadia Yosef does say that if the choice is either a mini-skirt or pants
then pants is better.  Again it is clear that all thse poskim hold that
wearing pants is prohibited, R Ovadia Yosef holds that in certain
circumstances it is the lesser of 2 evils so it would be better to wear
the pants.  I would not want to base my actions on doing the lesser of 2
evils.  It is clear that all these poskim hold that women should not
wear pants.  If you have any sources that say that pants are
mutar(permitted) not just the lesser of 2 evils please post them.

Ari Shapiro


End of Volume 19 Issue 18