by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
When a woman puts on tefillin, or wears a yalmulka (a man’s head covering) or tzitzit (a man’s fringed garment), her spiritual life becomes confused.
I am not addressing the aggressive Jewish women who wear these objects just to show men that they cannot be told what to do.
Here, I am addressing the sincere, but confused, Jewish woman who looks over at the men’s side of the synagogue, and sees men davening (praying) with tallises (prayer shawls) and tefillin, and thinks, “That looks so uplifting. I would like to increase my spiritual awareness, too.” So, she secretly takes her father’s or her brother’s tefillin and quietly wraps them on her arm. What happens to her?
When a woman tries to fulfill herself with a man’s spiritual role, if she is “successful” she will pull herself away from the particular role that she was created to fulfill.
Jewish men have certain needs that Jewish women do not have. For instance, a male can very easily become extremely excited just through his imagination. A woman requires more physicality. This is not merely a physical or an emotional characteristic since the physical and emotional reflect the spiritual.
Women want to be wanted. This is a strong part of their makeup. Men do not particularly want to be wanted. Men WANT!
Men are more competitive and aggressive by nature, so learning Gemora (Talmud) engages these characteristics. Competition and aggression are not primary needs for a woman.
Given these differences, among many others, each gender has been given spiritual solutions to satisfy his or her needs.
Tefillin do elevate the soul. So how does a woman receive this essential spiritual elevation? She receives it from her husband, and from her sons, when they put on their tefillin.
A Jewish marriage is not two equal partners coming together to form a balanced partnership. A Jewish marriage is two halves coming together to form a single one. Each contributes his or her share, according to their nature and abilities so the whole will excel.
It would not be unusual for a woman who excels in learning Gemora, and loves to put on tefillin, to want to forgo the bother of having children, because children would take her away from the spiritual things that she loves to do. Where would this leave the Jewish people? Not to mention those souls who are waiting to come into life through that Jewish woman.