Monday, March 04, 2013

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by Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths


As a Jewish girl I notice you talk to the boys more. It’s because of the whole “You’re only Jewish if your mother is Jewish,” correct? I find that law has (female)-shaming undertones.

What? Us women are so evil that you can never believe us when we say who the fathers of our children are? And you are saying that the Torah isn’t anti-feminist?

Because it seems like it is, and that Judaism hates women, or thinks of us as nothing but evil. That’s what my feminist friends and classes say. You still haven’t addressed this issue yet. Is it true? Why was this law invented? You know what (female)-shaming is, right? Seriously, check your misogyny [woman hatred].

Gutman’s Reply:

     I speak with girls, too, but since I stand on the men’s side of the Kotel I speak to many more boys than girls.

     Your friends and classes are misleading you terribly. The Torah teaches us to honor and respect women. The law that the children are Jewish if their mother is Jewish points to the great respect that we have for women. The Jewish women are the actual foundation of the Jewish people. This has always been the case.    

     The law was not invented. We see this with our righteous ancestors Avraham and Sarah whose son Yitzchak was Jewish, but Avraham’s other sons from Hagar and Keturah were not Jewish. The actual law comes from a warning that we should not let our sons take non Jewish wives lest they lead our sons to idolatry. Such is the influence of women.

     The mothers have their children at home alone for years before they are sent out to school. She is the greatest influence not only on their physical lives, but even more so, on their spiritual lives. Her ways are ingrained in her children from their earliest years.

     But even more wondrous is that the actual Hebrew word “daughter” is spelled the same as the word “house”. This is not a recent invention. It has always been spelled this way. The High Priest is told on the holiest day of the year to make atonement for himself and for his house, and his house is his wife.[i]

     Whereas the men build up the walls of the house and protect it, the home itself is supported by its foundation, the wife and mother of their children.

     Whoever has found a good wife has indeed found a treasure. In fact, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from G-d.”[ii] “Any man who has no wife lives without joy, without blessing, and without goodness.”[iii] “A man who does not marry is not a complete person.”[iv]

     As you can see, your friends’ and classes’ charges against the Torah are just not true.

[i] Leviticus 16:6

[ii] Proverbs 18:21

[iii] Gemora Yebamah 62b

[iv] Zohar parshat Acharei Mot


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