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Monday, February 28, 2005


JTA reports about a Vancouver woman, Aviel Barclay, who is about to finish writing a Sefer Torah. It states flat out:

Jewish law does not expressly forbid women to become scribes, but it is a role that traditionally has been filled by men.

Here's her article about her travails (from 2003).

Here's a rabbi who said that it would not be Halachicly acceptable for a woman to write a Sefer Torah, but nevertheless commissioned her to write a Megilat Esther.

Here's Jewschool's post about it (also, see comments).

Here and here are her websites. Here, she goes into a halachic discussion about it.

Here's a Mail-Jewish post that seems to contradict her conclusion of the view of the Sha'agat Aryeh.

What do I think? I think that feminism and halacha are a bad mix. This is especially true when feminits try to bend halacha to fit their views.
Women should not be writing Sifrei Torah, as it says in the Shulhan Aruch. For women to write a Megilat Esther may be different though. Ask your LOR.
For Sifrei Torah, do everyone a favor - stick w/ Sofrim.

Update: I just looked up the halacha in Shulhan Aruch. It's black and white (Y"D 281:3). Even the Shach quoted in her "proof" seems to agree that women cannot write sifrei torah. Her only nail to hang on is the drisha, but following the Klalim of paskening, in the end, she has nothing to stand on. I feel for her, but halacha cannot bend toward foreign ideology.


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