Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 103

Tuesday, January 16 2001

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 14:05:08 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Woman and learning

> RHM cornered me in shiur over a makor for the zechus of facilitation
> being tantamount to metzuveh v'oseh.

I didn't think that was the pshat - rather l'maskanas hagemara the zechus
of aino metzuveh by T"T is sufficient. It is almost mefurash this way
in rambam, who doesn't mention a word about facilitating anything, but
simply writes "Sota she-haya lah zechus T"T, *af al pi she-eina metzuvah
al T"T*, harei zu toleh lah'.


Go to top.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 12:40:03 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Woman and learning

On 10 Dec 2000, at 22:11, Chana/Heather Luntz wrote:
>> Yes.  And we also have statements that women receive schar for learning.
>> Of course, it is accepted that the schar for one who is commanded and
>> does is greater than that for the one who is not commanded and does.
>> However, in neither scenario, would the woman seem to be commanded and
>> doing, in both she is voluntarily doing, and receiving reward for so
>> doing.  

Sorry, I may not have been clear from my above paragraph.  There I was
referring to women learning *herself* and women taking care of children
*herself*, as examples of a woman voluntarily doing a mitzvah, for which
they do not have an obligation.  I think elsewhere in the same set of
postings I made a brief reference to what the schar would be for
enabling another who is commanded to do a mitzvah, which is what you are
discussing below, but did not go into the question.

In message <3A5E0BEC.15527.14206E5@localhost>, Carl M. Sherer
<cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il> writes:
>I heard an answer this morning. The Maggid Shiur for the Daf shiur, Rabbi 
>Leibel Shapiro, brought in the name of the Likutei Sichos (unfortunately, he 
>did not say where and I don't own the sefer) that a woman who facilitates her 
>husband's learning IS a metzuvah v'osa. He proves this based on a Ran at 
>the beginning of HaIsh M'Kadeish (I forget the d"h, but it's the last one on 
>16a in the Rif dapin) who asks why not only is it "mitzva bo yoser 
>m'b'shlucho," but also "mitzva ba yoser m'b'shlucha." Lichora the woman has 
>no tzivuy in pirya v'rivya, let alone in Kiddushin. The Ran holds there that by 
>facilitating her husband fulfilling pirya v'rivya, she becomes like, and gets 
>schar like, a metzuvah v'osa. The Likutei Sichos argues that the same thing 
>applies to a woman who helps her husband in Talmud Torah. 
>Now I suppose you could be mechalek and say that IF she does it she gets 
>schar like a m'tzuva v'osa, but that doesn't constitute a tzivuy to actually do 

That is the first way you could be mechalek.  But I think there is a
deeper assumption you have made from the above, that I do not think is
necessarily true (actually I suspect that it can be shown not to be
true) and that is that the normal course of events is that if somebody
enables the mitzvah of talmud torah, then they would not (except in the
unusual wife circumstance) get the schar of metzuve v'oseh.

However, leaving women aside, the paradigmatic example of facilitating
and enabling talmud torah is the Yissachar-Zevulun relationship, where
Zevulun shares the money he earns from business with Yissachar, and
shares in Yissachar's schar.  If your general assumption were right,
then Zevulun would only be getting schar for being oseh v'aino meztaveh
(even if we assume here that Yissachar is getting the schar for being
metzve v'oseh - which of course somewhat depends on your reading of
various texts, but let us make that assumption, as there are enough who
hold that the obligation to learn yomam v'liyla means that a man is
metzve all the time).

But that is clearly not the understanding of the Zevulun-Yissachar
relationship - even though one is not commanded to enter into a Zevulun-
Yissachar relationship - and in fact, the amount required to be give nto
Yissachar is more not only than the mandatory tzedaka requirement (ie
10%), but is more than the general discretionary tzedaka allowance of
20%.  However, if a Zevulun agrees to do so, then he gets the schar of

As far as I can see, a woman who agrees to marry a ben torah, knowing
that the torah is his profession, and that she will be required to be
the one who goes out and work and look after the mundane affairs of the
pair so he can concentrate on the kodesh is entering into a Zevulun-
Yissachar relationship par excellence, and it seems logical to me that
she would get the same schar that a male Zevulun would.  However, if the
woman were in fact his sister or his daughter, not his wife or mother,
it would seem to me that the same should apply.  I am therefore not
reading the gemorra in Sotah as saying it *only applies to wives and
mothers* only that that tends to be the usual case (the case of a sister
supporting her brother in learning, you must admit, is pretty rare).

Of course, the case of enabling meaning you share in the schar of the
mitzvah so enabled is seen most clearly from learning and
Zevulun/Yissachar - but I confess I would have assumed that the same is
true universally.  Let us get away from women and learning for the
moment.  Let us take the case of a non Jew.  Let us say that we are
dealing with a country where it is too cold to grow esrogim, and where
in order to import fruit into the country, you need the stamp of some
non Jewish high up customs official.  It seems to me that if that non
Jewish customs official gives a stamp to the import of esrogim, on the
basis that the Jews need these fruits to fulfil their religion, then
surely that customs official would share in the schar of all the mitzvos
that were then done with such esrogim.  Does he fall into the catagory
of ain metzave v'oseh? I think not, a non Jew has no link at all to the
mitzvah of lulav v'estrog to be described as doing the mitzvah even
though he is not commanded.  What is happening is that (let's say) half
of the esrogim are being used by men who are commanded in the mitzvah of
lulav v'esrog, and half are being used by women who are not, but are
receiving lesser schar for doing even though they are not commanded.  It
seems to me that this non Jew receives schar comeasurate with the total
schar that was earned from this batch of esrogim, ie the schar that he

> but if you made that same argument by Kiddushin, you would find that 
>men could not fulfill the mitzva at all.

Actually, I think that undermines your argument - because at the time
that the man gives kiddushin to the woman, she is just some stam woman
from the street, there is no special link between them of the nature of
husband and wife that means that she should particularly share in his
mitzvah.  But if you understand it my way, then as she is enabling the
performance of this mitzvah, she shares in the schar, in the same way as
our custom's official does in the mitzvah of esrog v'lulav.

The traditional way of explaining how men could fulfil the mitzvah of
kiddushin is that they are obligated to try and persuade a woman to
agree.  And it clearly makes sense that she then receives schar for
agreeing, even though she doesn't have to (how different is this from
the customs case, where the men in question could not fulfil the mitzva
of lulav v'esrog without the agreement of the customs official, even
though the customs official has no obligation to give the permit?).

Note that, if you were right, and women were considered effectively to
have been commanded to marry, then a lot of the questions (and problems)
about saying eg sheva brochas only in the presence of the kalla (and
other halachic discussions which make it clear that the brachas only
pertain to the chossan) should fall away.  

> I think the idea is the same - that a 
>married man cannot learn Torah without his wife's support (not necessarily 
>financial - that's not what I'm getting at) and therefore his wife is m'tzuva to 
>support his learning and if she does so, she gets schar like a m'tzuva v'osa.

Yes, and if a man is obligated in looking after his children, and she
shares in that mitzvah, she will share in the schar of that mitzvah
(whether or not she is his wife, or a kindly neighbour, or the

>> Question, do you think that gemorra (its in sotah as well BTW where this
>> general discussion is) that states that women get reward for
>> waiting/encouraging is davka in relation to husbands, or that eg a
>> babysitter also gets equivalent schar in babysitting/encouraging so as
>> to allow the man to learn?  

>Davka the wife because she has the tzivuy. 

This is the key though - why are you so adamant that she has the tzvui?
How is that possible vis a vis kiddushin, when she is just any eligible
woman in the street, or is *every* single woman commanded to marry the
nearest single man?  Rather, as I have suggested, it would seem that if
you enable a mitzvah, you share in the schar of the mitzvah that is
generated by that enabling, and it should apply equal to babysitters
(and mothers and daughters and sisters).

The possible difference for babysitters is not the nature of the
relationship, but that (assuming we are not talking about a full time
nanny) it is a very limited, one babysitter may sit for lots of
families, and while at any given time, she is only assisting one family,
maybe there needs to be a one on one relationship?

>Note also that when the Gemara 
>discusses limud zchus for the sotah, it doesn't say she did mitzvos, it says 
>that she facilitated her husband's (and her sons') learning. The Gemara goes 
>on at great length to be mechalek there between learning Torah and ordinary 

Yes, that the schar is more effective in saving from ill effects in this
world.  That, BTW would seem to be reasonably clear from the Mishna in
Peah we say every morning, elu d'vraim sh'adam ochel priosechem b'olam
hazeh ... v'talmud torah kneged kulam.

>How about a woman who goes out to work (eg
>> on Wall Street) and supports lots of kollelim?
>That doesn't seem to qualify, because her tzivuy is parallel to her husband's. 
>Just like he is metzuveh on his own learning and that of his children and 
>grandchildren (see the Rambam at the beginning of Hilchos Talmud Torah - I 
>think it's 1:3), so she is metzuvah on her husband's and children's learning, 
>but not on someone else's. Supporting someone else's learning would be 
>counted as a mitzva of tzedaka, but not as actual Torah learning as it would 
>be with her husband and sons.

The reason I specifically gave the case of the woman on Wall Street is
because it is one of the classic cases that is discussed when looking at
the ramifications of the Yissachar-Zevulun relationship.  Is it enough
for a Yissachar-Zevulun relationship for the Zevulun to work on Wall
Street and support lots of kollelim, or do they have to do a full
income/schar split with an individually drawn up relationship (and
possibly even a contract to this effect)?  What about if one man splits
his income into twelths, and supports six men in kollel (dedicating his
salary for each working day of the week towards a different man)?  I
believe the poskim differ (certainly in relation to the basic
distinction, I am not sure how they handle the further question) and
would submit that the same difference would carry over with a male/woman
relationship.  If you hold that the form and nature of a Yissachar-
Zevulun relationship is personal then I would have thought that the
woman on Wall Street described above would not qualify, it is just
normal tzedaka (and there would be a different division of schar share).
However, for those that hold that you do not need a direct personal
individual Yissachar-Zevulun relationship, why should there be any
difference between a man and a woman here? 

In any event, it seems to me that unless you hold that a man is
obligated, if he is not in full time learning himself, to enter into a
Zevulun-Yissachar relationship (which we clearly do not hold - even the
other sh'fatim did not operate in this manner), then I think the
assumption that a woman is actually commanded to enable, even if she
obtains schar equal to one who is commanded if she does so enable, does
not work.


Go to top.

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 21:33:53 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Life span

Does anyone have mekoros for whether the *general* life span in pre-Avos
generations was as long as described for those people mentioned in
Chumash? Or were those people the exception?


Go to top.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 17:12:57 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: [heicha Kedusha and] Davening

On Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 08:53:46AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: Why? Does sh'as ha'dchak necessarily follow from monetary loss? 

I find it interesting that the gemara gives us a shortened form of Amidah
for po'alim, but now we aren't sure whether the parallel situation is
sufficient grounds for a full chazaras haShatz after a normal Shemohen

What changed? The matbei'ah of tefillah has two millenia more mass behind
it. But I think it says even more about how much the work ethic changed.
A worker doesn't stael a 15 minute break.

But in either case, can we use the gemara as reason lihakeil?


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 17:25:38 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: uvash'vi'i request

On Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 12:33:36AM +0200, D. and E-H. Bannett wrote:
: The paragraph starts by talking about 'am Yisrael. They are shomerei
: Shabbat, kor'ei 'oneg, an 'am mekad'shei sh'vi'i. In other words we are
: the best.

: Then we Ashkenazim continue: uvash'vi'i ratzita bo. If bo refers to us,
: i.e., 'am Yisrael, the subject of all the preceding, it means that God
: wants us on Shabbat. Doesn't he like us on any other days?

I'm only throwing this idea out because the gender of "bo" is problematic
either way. Perhaps the object of the "bo" is our shemiras Shabbos,
our kei'as oneg, and our sanctifying. Which HKBH wants only bashvi'i because
"chemdas yamim oso karasa".


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 00:39:48 +0200
From: "fish" <fish9999@012.net.il>
a source

With regards to Mr. Linas's request for a source, the  phrase appears in
"Michlol Hama'amarim V'hapitgamim" as "y'shuat Hashem k'heref ayin"

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >