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WOMEN-----unfair halachos? aguna gitten etc


chai Posted - 01 September 2000 5:42

MODERATOR - I really liked your answer above. it was well thought out.

I've been dealing with several people about this topic of 'women in Judaism'.

One of the responses to what you wrote that I heard from one of them was along the lines of women and Gitten, Agunot, Batei Dinnim, and the like.

When these women complain about fairness in Jewish Orthodoxy and use these issues in their claim, what would you say to them?

I'm hoping you come up with an answer as sharp and on the money as your previous one.

MODERATOR Posted - 01 September 2000 18:39


All these issues all have one answer.

If you are assuming that Orthodox Judaism was created by men then you are correct - who has a right to treat women and men differently?

- but since G-d wrote the Torah, there is no longer a question of fair, since G-d knows what's good for everyone.

Why don't people ask why it's fair that only women can get breast cancer and not men?

Or that only women have to go through the pain of having children?

See, everyone understands that men's bodies and women’s bodies are different and physically they are not "treated" the same.

So too the male and female souls are not the same either, and they are subject to different spiritual realities.

A woman can only be divorced if a man gives her a Get, just like she has to bother nursing the baby while the man can go to the ballgame.

It's all the "custom life" concept above. "fair" does not mean "treated equal".

If G-d wanted any particular woman not to be an Agunah He could have tons of ways to accomplish that. Like the husband can die of a heart attack for instance. Any time someone does something bad to you it is your particular Nisayon, from Heaven.

That's why revenge is silly, says the Sefer HaChinuch, because everything that happens to you in the world is from G-d. (Of course, this does not alleviate the person who hurt you from the blame, since he "volunteered" for the job of hurting you.)

Nobody asks why people born slaves are treated unfairly as opposed to people who are born free. That is because they understand that G-d runs the world and we can't "question" His plans.

An Agunah is in the same type of predicament as a slave -- chained, in a way. It's sad, and we should do all we can to help them, just as we should, all mistreated people in the world.

But at the same time, there is no reason for us to question the particular mistreatment of Agunas more than we do any other mistreatment, if we accept that G-d wrote the Torah.

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