The Roles of Men and Women within Judaism incl. Laws of Family Purity

Duscusses the roles of men and women withing Judaism, family purity, orgins in text, Mikavah + Niddah, and the question of is Judaism sexist/ discriminate against women?, reasons for purity

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  • Created on: 20-12-12 11:00
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The Roles of Men and Women incl. Laws of Purity
INTRO:
Judaism Believes everyone should have a chance to become closer to G-d but also
believe that different people have different spiritual sensitivities - wrong not to
provide different opportunities for different types of people.
Men and women have different aspects of spirituality. Halacha is sensitive to
these
differences and accommodates them.
A cruel society if everyone treated equal: a cripple wont be treated the same as
a
completely healthy person nor a child like and adult and vis versa.
Foundation of Judaism is coming closer to G-d: job, security, etc., which has
little value
God wants the maximum closeness possible between Himself and any human being.
Judaism is clear that women get as much reward for their way of serving God as
men do for theirs, i.e. each has equal opportunity to get close to God through their
role.
Also in this world, women's achievements and accomplishment of holiness are
considered as great as men's.
"As far as holiness goes, women are equal to men" Rav Moshe Feinstein
In traditional Judaism, women are for the most part seen as separate but equal.
Women obligations and responsibilities no less important than men ­ infact some
opinions say even more so.
Both man and women created in the image of G-d: "So God created mankind in his
own image" GN 1:27 ­ some opinions both genders
Many women In History seen as superior to men e.g
4 Mothers: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel ­ superior in prophecy
Golden Calf ­ women didnt take part
said women blessed with special: intelligence and understanding
Miram ­ liberator from Egypt
7/55 prophets of the bible were women e.g. Deborah ­ a great Judge
The Ten Commandments - respect for mother and father: father mentioned first
in Ex. 20:12, but mother first in Lev. 19:3, sources say is intended to show that both
parents are equally entitled to honour.
Women's right to be consulted with regard to their marriage. Marital sex is
regarded as the woman's right, and not the man's. Men do not have the right to beat or
mistreat their wives. In cases of rape, a woman is generally presumed not to have
consented to the intercourse, even if she enjoyed it, even if she consented after the
sexual act began and declined a rescue! American society today rape victims often have
to overcome public suspicion that they "asked for it" or "wanted it." Traditional
Judaism recognizes that forced sexual relations within the context of marriage are
rape and are not permitted; in many states in America, rape within marriage is still not
a criminal act.
Traditional veiw of women: mother and homemaker ­ Talmud: Pious man + wicked

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Wicked man but Wicked man + pious woman = Pious Man.
Women exempt from all time bound positive mizvot ­ important role of spiritual
influence over her family. Exemption led to misunderstanding of the role of women in
Judaism.
First, many people make the mistake of thinking that this exemption is a
prohibition - On the contrary, dont have to preform the mitzvot they are
permitted to if they choose.…read more

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Judaism says women are equal to men but they are different:
Intellectually
Emotionally
physically
spiritually
Judaism ­ beings need to reach their full potential = purpose of creation =
connect
with G-d
Judaism is sexist "Sexism is discrimination on the basis of sex" - recognises
women and men are different
Generally women and men not different in Judaism role In this world is to
become as close to G-d as you can HOWEVER they both do it in different ways ­
i.e.…read more

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Mikvah:
Lit.…read more

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· Kabbalistic ­ when egg fertilised soul is in it and its spiritual level
depends
on the state it was in when created
· "Breicha" spring ­ from the word "source" when go to mikvah go through
ritual which connects you to the original source (death disconnects one from the
source"
· "Beracha" - "You are the source" lit. a.k.a "Blessing"
Why and How does a Physical aspect of life affect
the Spiritual aspect of life?
E.g.…read more

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