Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who has it harder?

For those women who complain about having it bad that they must go throught the pain of childbirth please read an excerpt from an article:
JE vayechi

"Behind these wills lies the understanding that earning a livelihood is a major struggle both in economic terms but also morally and ethically. In the midrash Rabbi Yose bar Chalafta taught, "Parnasah is more difficult than childbirth; Eve's punishment was to give birth in sorrow but regarding Adam it is written, 'in sorrow will you eat all the days of your life' (Genesis, 3: 16-17). Rabbi Shmuel ben Nachman said, 'Parnasah is greater [spiritually] than redemption. Regarding redemption Jacob said, 'the angel who redeemed me (Genesis, 48:16) but regarding our livelihoods we read, (Psalms 145: 16) 'He [G-d] opens His Hand and satisfies all that lives.'"

Making a living is much harder, and that is imposed on the husband. I wonder why this is if the entire fault of eating from the Eitz Hadas started from Chava, a woman. Any Ha'aros are appreciated.


Blogger AMUS1 said...

But it's not just childbirth we have to go through in pain. Imagine going through it in a slightly smaller degree every month. You could argue that a man has to struggle with parnasa every day. It basically boils down to what is more painful - physical or emotional/mental pain?

4:17 PM  
Blogger EN said...

Amus1-good point! never thought about it that way. Thanks for the enlightenment.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

Plenty of women have to earn a parnassa also - it is not just the nisayyon of men.

6:21 PM  
Blogger EN said...

Shoshana-I was talking in theory. In understanding what the Torah meant. Although some women need to go to work to provide for their family but the curse of by the sweat of the brow, applies only to men.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Shopaholic said...

Adom got this punishment because he did not answer when Hashem called him. True, Chava was the one who initiated the averah but Adom did not 'own up' to his sin.

Also When it says "Eve's punishment was to give birth in sorrow" I learned it was not only refering to the actual labor but child referring too. Which mother (and father) does not go though pain and suffering for her child...

Another thing- "the curse of by the sweat of the brow" That could be interpreted as learning torah...and then the wife has the sorrow in child birth AND the difficulties and hardships of earning a living- ALL FOR THE SAKE OF HER HUSBAND LEARNING!


7:35 PM  
Blogger EN said...

Shopaholic-ARGHHHHH, you make me so frustrated!!!

Why do you know so much?! I wish I had those perspectives.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...


So, where does this leave the yeshiva bochurim who STAY in yeshiva, and don't support their wives, so their wives end up doing everything? If G-d mandated that men should work and women should do the child thing, how can it then be holy to stick the wife with everything?

12:54 AM  
Blogger Shopaholic said...

Daphne- If I may:

"If G-d mandated that men should work and women should do the child thing, how can it then be holy to stick the wife with everything?"

A person is on this world to better himself and to earn his portion in the world to come by learning torah.
G-d actually gave this mizvah (commandmnet) to men only.

2 problems:
1) how do women earn their portion in the world to come
2)How can man sit and learn Torah all day if he needs to go out and earn a living -
(THAT really is the essence of the punishment which G-d gave to Adam -'in sorrow will you eat all the days of your life' (Genesis, 3: 16-17). )

So to answer the fist problem- Women earn their share in the world to come BY SUPPORTING HER HUSBAND IN LEARNING.
Supporting in every way - finacialy too (if shes capeable).

I look up and respect all thoes women who have husbands who are "full time learners" and they are toiling away hard a work- how much schar (reward) they are getting!
I envy their Emunah and belif in G-d that HE will provide all and help them in the amazing task of 'supporting a learning husband"

2) The issue of men going out to work vs sitting a learning goes as far back as the 12 Shvottim (tribes).
we see that Yissochar and Zevulon formed a teaty that one will learn (Yissochar) and the other (Zevulon)would work and support his brother. But if you can only get your portion in the world to come if you learn torah- what happens with Zevulon?
In exchange, Zevulon gets 1/2 of Yissochar's share in the world to come!!!
All men who work have (or should have) some affiliation with a Yeshivah, shul or s/o who is a 'true learner' they can "support".

Would'nt you want to be able to get 1/2 your husbands portion in the world to come if you support him in learning??

"...stick the wife with everything?"
not everything- just the things that count...

2:56 AM  
Blogger Orthoprax said...

This is just absurd. You can't find proof texts for what is obviously ascertainable only through a case by case basis. Some women have easy childbirths, some have much harder ones, and some die from it. Some men are born into millionaire families, some have jobs they really enjoy, some have to break their back each day and some men die in the course of duty.

There is no one "easier gender duty" (an idea which I object to in any case) - it totally depends on each person's situation and how they deal with it.

6:07 AM  
Blogger EN said...

Daphna- I agree whole heartedly with Shopaholics explaination. I couldn't have said it as well as she did even if I tried.

But in my own words I will try to explain.

Firstly, we must both agree that God provides everything. We only are required to do hishtadlus. The main histadlus of a man is to "sweat". He can do that either by working the land or by learning Torah. If he chooses to learn Torah, G-d provides him with a woman who appreciates the value of Torah and is willing to take upon herself the worries of providing meterial/mental stability. Not all women are the same and not all men are the same, some can and some can't. G-d matches each person according to their ability. Each person will get their just olam habah. What really counts is who has a better olam hazaeh. A family steeped in Torah and mitzvos and a couple who mutually agree that their focus in life is to live a Torah life style can bear the brunt of "getting along". Gender roles don't play a role where the ultimate goal is true happiness. If a woman can provide for her husband and she wants what is true in life she should make an all out effort to get it. Even if it means breaking the mold that it is the husband's job to bring in the cash. Torah and money are synonomous. If no money no Torah, no Torah no money. A woman who realizes her potential and her destiny will undertand the importance of not making her toil needlessly in a dead end job to make a couple of extra bucks to go to a movie or trip. The torah lifestyle does not include extravigance. A simple lifestyle is advised. A true torah scholar should be able to subsist on very little. Except where there can be a sickness or something. But the more a person believes in reward for good deeds, it is definitely a good deed to support a Torah scholar by being as close as possible to him and by giving him the ultimate joy by marrying him and through that the complete soul will be able to acend underneath the throne of glory and be neheneh from the ziv hashechina.

In short, this is my position on why the great Jewish women of all the generations agreed to support their husbands by making an effort to mitigate the bittersome and fruitless labor of getting a job.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Me, Uncensored said...

"I wonder why this is if the entire fault of eating from the Eitz Hadas started from Chava, a woman."

Entire fault?

Adam was standing *right next to her* as the serpent tempted her. Why didn't he say something? He was supposed to be her protector, no?

Plus it was his job to feed her, not the other way around.

I'm not saying Adam is more to blame. I'm just saying that while Eve did bite the fruit first, Adam was standing there like an idiot the entire time when he could have tried to stop her.

12:52 PM  
Blogger EN said...

me-What?!! Sorry I am a bit amused, or confused, or something. Actually, Adam was nowhere near chava, she brought the fruit to him. You seem to be insinuating that it is a man's job to protect women. I hate that insinuation. Where in the world does it say that?! It was not his job to feed her. The food was free in the garden. She tempted Adam. That is why men dominate over her. Nice theory but no cigar.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Me, Uncensored said...

"Actually, Adam was nowhere near chava, she brought the fruit to him."

"And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband WITH HER; and he did eat." -Gen 3:6

"You seem to be insinuating that it is a man's job to protect women. I hate that insinuation. Where in the world does it say that?!"

Is the man not the head of the house? Is he not responsible for what goes on in his house?

I would hope that my husband would protect me if I'm in danger -- he wouldn't be much of a husband if he didn't, would he?

9:48 PM  
Blogger EN said...

me-what that word means if you look in Rashi a medival commentary it means she gave to him "WITH HER" meaning that she didn't want to die and Adam to marry another woman. So she gave to Adam to eat so he should DIE with her.
Not that they were in the proximity of each other. The snake lured her away from Adam so he could copulate with her. That is selfish.

Of course your husband should save you if you are in trouble but don't rely on him to save you. He is not your body guard. man can't contol everything. marriage is a partnership. Not that the woman takes everything and gives nothing.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Oooooohhhhh, I see we have some very different views on gender roles going on.

I guess someone forgot to tell Sarah about that whole domination thing. Ditto for Miriam. And Devorah. And yes, I have heard of the negative descriptions of Devorah--push comes to shove she got the job done. And you can always find men who have problem with strong women. Even back in the Talmud days.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Oh, and it is DaphnA and not DaphnE.

One name is Hebrew. The other is Greek.


5:25 PM  

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