Q. What is the Chassidic view of the way women should be treated?
A. Chassidism honours the kabbalistic doctrine that there is a feminine side to God. The Baal Shem Tov also taught that women’s beauty was an emanation of the Divine, and he and countless Chassidic leaders paid great honour to mothers, wives and daughters.
Some Chassidic women were scholars in their own right, known for their wisdom, piety and Torah knowledge. The fact that they could not conduct synagogue services was part of normative Judaism, but some were honoured leaders of women’s prayer gatherings where they fostered spirituality and Jewish knowledge.