Monday, June 04, 2007

Men's vs. Women's Belief in Redemption

Updated and corrected

I came across a sefer of Halacha last night that was discussing the laws of Tish'a Be'av. It quotes a Hasidic Rebbe who lived over a century ago who said the Kol Bo, a Rishon, who said that there was an old Minhag which we don't hold by which held that women are allowed to bathe on Tish'a Be'av afternoon. (This is not meant to be a Psak Halacha - please consult your Local Orthodox Rabbi if this Psak is right for you.) The reason given is that women need more encouragement in believing in the Ge'ula, and since we know that Mashiah will be born on Tish'a Be'av and it will be turned into a joyous day, we allow them to bathe on Tish'a Be'av afternoon to instill this belief into them. Men, who know the words of the prophets, have this belief instilled in them already. They therefore don't need this extra amount of Emuna-boosting. Women, however, aren't as learned, so they need this extra step of encouragement.

This idea troubled me, and I frankly find it hard to swallow. We know that in the previous redemption from Egypt, women were at the forefront of belief. בשביל נשים צדקניות נגאלו אבותינו ממצרים. Their belief by far surpassed the men's. It was the men who, when Moshe was late coming down the mountain, decided that a golden calf was the answer - not the women, who didn't want to part with their jewelry for such a purpose. It was the women who brought along the musical instruments to praise Hashem for the miracles that were not yet performed. This should tell us that their belief is greater in general.

But even specifically for the upcoming redemption, I would venture to say that women are better believers than men. Even if you want to say that it may not have been true a century centuries ago, it is certainly true nowadays. Nowadays, B"H, we have schools that teach girls Nevi'im, and they learn those Nevi'im much better than boys ever do. We men often envy the knowledge of our cross-gender counterparts when it comes to knowing Na"ch.

And besides, the nature of women is to believe. The Pasuk says "כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגיד לבני ישראל", which teaches us that the women didn't need harsh language to accept the Torah. They were already believers in nature. We know this from מעשים בכל יום as well.

Let us hope that the merit of the righteous women of our generation will bode us well for a final redemption speedily in our days.


At Tue Jun 05, 01:16:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Tue Jun 05, 05:39:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know the book is authentic in the first place?
Just read about some other fake ancient books:

At Wed Jun 06, 11:08:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you serious? women have saved us from every galus so far. and unless i'm the only one that noticed, women have more bitachon in general then men because they know and learn less. this means they can't see the beauty ot the truth men learn in unbeleivably fascinating and holy seforim. yet they beleive with utmost belief that they have to raise a family with torah values and that she is raising hashems children.
i don't know what women were like back thenbut this surely does not apply today.

At Wed Jun 06, 11:10:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out orh naava and see how women will save us fro this galus as well.

At Tue Jun 12, 10:04:00 AM 2007, Blogger yitz.. said...

the Ben Ish Hai brings down the minhag that some of the women had in baghdad to clean their houses in preparation of welcoming the moshiah... (His psak (iirc) is to not keep this minhag--because of the halachic problems, but not to stop people who already keep it, since they are excited for moshiah)

In my own family we have a minhag (which I think dates back to baghdad @ least..but who knows?) to give the children treats on tisha b'av after midday, so that they will look forward to tisha b'av when the moshiah is meant to come..


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