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    Put-down of women – Ask the rabbi

    Q. Why does Judaism put down its women?

    female gender symbolA. I don’t agree that it does. There are uncomfortable things said about women, but there are also wonderful poems in their praise in both the Bible and rabbinic literature.

    Social mores denied a broad education to many women and tried to limit them to the domestic scene. Yet tradition (inspired by the famous chapter 31 of Mishlei) constantly praised women’s wisdom and understanding.

    In answering your question the thought of my own late mother vividly comes to mind. An educated woman, an acclaimed high school teacher, after she got married she concentrated on her home and family… but at the same time she had a good brain and her businessmen brothers came to her for her advice and ideas. I don’t know whether she knew of Donna Gracia or Glueckel of Hameln, but Gracia and Glueckel were examples of what a Jewish woman could do.

    These days women occupy high profile roles in society, and in Judaism there are outstanding woman scholars of Torah.

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