Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Dec 19, 2013

the role of a woman

A Dati Leumi (chardal, perhaps) rabbi, Rav Baruch Efrati, from Efrat, has said something that would get him skewered if he were a Haredi rabbi.

Rav Efrati was asked what is a woman's role in the world - to work? learn? raise children? business? feminisim? simple?

Rav Efrati's answer was that a woman's role in this world is to raise children and grandchildren to be wise, God fearing and God loving people who do good deeds and toil in Torah..  for that she should give up her life, along with davening and learning Torah on her level - halachos of women and issues of emuna.

After that, if she still has any time available, a woman could get a job to help bring parnassa home, develop hobbies, develop talents, etc. This is the order, and it should not be changed.
(source: Moreshet)

There are some people who need a job or a hobby or some other focus in order to better themselves and it can help them raise their kids. There are others who cannot have kids. There are some people who have a special talent in a specific field and develop that as their role, and everything people do can be incorporated into their personal lives and help them raise their kids properly.

Surely raising children has been, historically, the focus of the mother, and until recently it was her main role in the family. Even if one believes that to be true today, I don't think it necessarily must mean that a mother cannot look for fulfillment and expression and development of her talents. I'd say the opposite - doing all those things helps her function better in all her roles, including in her role as a mother.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. Thanks for bring the whole thing. In the article I saw ripping the rabbi to shreds, it talked about him proclaiming, "that a woman's role in this world is to raise children" period.

  2. This is just an example of how an email shaila can go wrong. I don't think the Rabbi is really understanding her question. It's safe to say she wants an answer from Rav Efrati, someone who will give a traditional approach - but when she says "should I be a feminist or more simple?" she is baiting the shaila for a one-word answer to what she is personally experiencing as much more complex.

    Rav Efrati gave her a one-liner, but either it's the wrong one-liner, or you just can't answer that question with a one-liner.

    Is she single? Then the Rabbi's answer that her primary goal should be having and raising children (however you translate that) might become unnecessary pressure on the questioner. And of all times, now would be a time for her to enrich herself according to her interests - which ultimately enhances her investment in her future home.

    Perhaps I am missing something - doesn't Rav Efrati's suggestion that a woman only has the right to pursue a personal interest after (a) taking full care of the children and home and (b) supplementing the family income - go against the ketuba?

    I have heard many times how women in prominent rabbinic families are encouraged in some small art pursuit as a way of developing themselves. It's a shame that the answer comes across so narrow that even reading something enlightening, exercising, or taking a pottery class once a week seems to be b'dieved. Or going to a Rebbetzin Mizrachi shiur for that matter!

  3. I must've missed the part where he banned a woman from pursuing hobbies, work, etc.

    According to you, he said a woman's first, or primary, job is child-rearing. You actually agreed with that.

    "Surely raising children has been, historically, the focus of the mother, and until recently it was her main role in the family."

    Are you saying that hobbies and/or work should come first, even at the expense of children?

  4. I am not saying that at all. all I think is that every person will find fulfillment in his or her own way, and each person might have a different role and set of priorities.
    I remember learning or hearing that when someone finds himself drawn to a certain mitzva over others, it is indicative of that being his/her role and what he/she should focus on (not ignoring the others, but with more concentration over the others)..
    Same thing - some will have fulfillment out of raising kids and not doing anything else. Others will find fulfillment in learning torah, going to shiurim, others in collecting stamps, others in physical fitness, others in reading books, playing music, singing, knitting, distributing charity, running a business, running an organization, or whatever.

    And some people might find it best for them to combine different things. Maybe they function better at home with the kids when they have been out of the house during the day working in an office, running a business, swimming, reading, learning, or whatever. Maybe if they give 100% of their time to the house and kids they find themselves functioning at a lower level - losing patience, frustration, lack of fulfillment, etc.

    It is difficult to make a rule that fits all in todays day and age. "Expectations of roles" that might have been in place historically, are no longer relevant.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...