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Debate on women learning Gemara s/o
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:48 am
Ruchel wrote:
Oh I also think the daf yomi isn't going to happen if the person is not devoted! It's not like putting on a tzitzits and feeling holy once a week lol. And there were rebbetzin types who learned gemara through out history, but it was never a whoopla nor a norm for other women. I do not want, one day, to see myself pushed on the boundaries because I'm "not devoted enough" to take on a male mitzva on top of mine. The gmara is for men by men and it's absolutely NORMAL to find it dry or not interesting PERSONALLY. You can learn all your life all day and not touch gemara. Think of what started as crazy or very very minimalistic and is now a norm... I don't want this world for my descendants. That's without the halachic opinions against it. Why not learn something that has no halacha opnions against it? Because it is less elit?


Because many women are interested in learning across the entire spectrum of Torah. I know that as a thirteen year old, from the few snatches I had heard of Gemara, I was so enthralled that I was dying to learn it. I couldn’t find anybody to teach me, so I worked through the first sugya of Pesachim on my own, using Sonicino’s abstruse translation. That showed dedication! When I was 14, I got someone to teach me a sugya in Beitza. I felt like I was in heaven

Some of us really are that interested.

I agree that girls and women shouldn’t be forced to learn Gemara,and it shouldn’t be an expectation. But that’s no reason to discourage those who are truly interested.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:55 am
Ruchel wrote:
Why not learn something that has no halacha opnions against it? Because it is less elit?


Also, if you want something that has no halachic opinions against it, you can’t even learn Chumash with Rashi, according to some. (Like the Satmar Rebbe but also like Rabbi Eliezer, according to the pshat of that passage in Sotah.)
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 9:54 am
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
Daf Yomi (even for men) is dabbling.


we can have men not learn, also, "on shabbes I open a sefer"... We have to accept this is good enough, as the recent siyum has shown, or just disgust people from any effort. Reminds me of that "person" who wrote a certain number is a small family when to some it's their utmost avoda (and interestingly the average number of my husband's students, in a charedi school)
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 10:25 am
Ruchel wrote:
Oh I also think the daf yomi isn't going to happen if the person is not devoted! It's not like putting on a tzitzits and feeling holy once a week lol.


And this "feeling holy" doesn't necessarily mean real kedusha. There are threads here about women wearing tefillin that explore this.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 10:49 am
PinkFridge wrote:
I'm not going to dis the daf. When my husband briefly did it he went to a shiur, and listened to a few more because he wanted to own it. No dabbling there.

What you mean is, it's not going to be the greatest depth, it's not going to be the same type of in depth of Rashi Tosfos, other rishonim and beyond who really tackle the sugya. But the learning is still powerful. And there are magidei shiur who do masterful jobs, the local ones we might never hear of and the big names like Rabbi Rosner, Rabbi Lebowitz (mentioned by Yonoson Rosenblum the other week), Rabbi Sorscher, and some others. I'm sure women reading this are nodding their heads, even if they have other names in mind, and men who would read this would too. I respect the time and yes, effort put in to the daf too much to reduce it to dabbling. Surely not the type of dabbling I would do Smile


Right. That's why I think that daf yomi is actually great for women like me, who DON'T have the background (or frankly the time) to learn through the whole thing - Rashi, Tosfos, Rishonim, Acharonim.

I don't plan on doing daf yomi as it's too much of a time commitment (at least not this cycle) but I like the idea of learning through the daf yomi shiurim at my own pace.

At the very least, it will give context to me as to all the gemarahs we're all quoting Smile .

I think Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik was right on this point - after going to college and being trained to go to sources and cite extensively, I'm finding this third hand (the gemarah says this or that) very hard to swallow. Blame my college education Smile.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 10:55 am
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:


...........

BTW - for those who believe that it is assur for women to learn Torah sh’ba’al peh- please be aware that even Rashi has the status of Torah sh’ba’al peh.


Sorry for not quoting the whole post, but I felt this sentence got lost somewhere.

Exactly, if you hold that women should not learn Torah Sh'ba'al peh - you can't learn Rashi either.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:04 am
Mommyg8 wrote:
Sorry for not quoting the whole post, but I felt this sentence got lost somewhere.

Exactly, if you hold that women should not learn Torah Sh'ba'al peh - you can't learn Rashi either.


I mentioned this earlier, I don’t agree with this point. I think the issue is specifically with regards to the learning of the analytics of the Gemara, which is understood to be a conflict with the mechanics of the Daatan Kalos aspect of the female mind. There’s nothing wrong with learning a particular peirush or maamar Chazal according to just about anyone. Except for those who hold that women should do nothing but make potato kugel.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:06 am
Double post

Last edited by malki2 on Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:06 am
malki2 wrote:
I mentioned this earlier, I don’t agree with this point. I think the issue is specifically with regards to the learning of the analytics of the Gemara, which is understood to be a conflict with the mechanics of the Daatan Kalos aspect of the female mind. There’s nothing wrong with learning a particular peirush or maamar Chazal according to just about anyone. Except for those who hold that women should do nothing but make potato kugel.


I brought up this question on the other thread - do you really believe that the female mind is incapable of learning gemarah in an analytical manner? Which source do you have to back this assertion up - either emotional, actual, or anything else?

And yes, there are definitely sects within Judaism that believe that women should do nothing but make potato kugel.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:14 am
Mommyg8 wrote:
I brought up this question on the other thread - do you really believe that the female mind is incapable of learning gemarah in an analytical manner? Which source do you have to back this assertion up - either emotional, actual, or anything else?

And yes, there are definitely sects within Judaism that believe that women should do nothing but make potato kugel.


Well let me throw this back at you. How do you explain the opinion of Melamda Tiflus according to your understanding? Do you just ignore it? And no, I obviously don’t believe that the female mind is incapable of analytics, but I do know that Chazal differentiated between the male and female minds, and so does non-politically correct science, BTW. And while you are at it, please also explain your understanding of Nashim Daatan Kalos, and also Binah Yeseira, and whether or not you believe that these still apply. Also, please keep in mind that I am speaking generally, not in specifics. Meaning that I understand that there are exceptions to the rules and chazakos.


Last edited by malki2 on Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 11:51 am
malki2 wrote:
Well let me throw this back at you. How do you explain the opinion of Melamda Tiflus according to your understanding? Do you just ignore it? And no, I obviously don’t believe that the female mind is incapable of analytics, but I do know that Chazal differentiated between the male and female minds, and so does non-politically correct science, BTW.


As a school psychologist, who administers intelligence tests on a regular basis, I disagree with you on this point. If all you gave me was IQ scores, I could not with any certainty predict if those scores belong to a male or female. From what I see, the difference(s)/variation among individuals within the same gender(s) is much, much wider (and way more significant) than any difference(s) between the gender(s).
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 12:14 pm
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
As a school psychologist, who administers intelligence tests on a regular basis, I disagree with you on this point. If all you gave me was IQ scores, I could not with any certainty predict if those scores belong to a male or female. From what I see, the difference(s)/variation among individuals within the same gender(s) is much, much wider (and way more significant) than any difference(s) between the gender(s).


Without getting into the concept of the discounting of the eternal truths of Chazal, I’ve taught math for a number of years to both genders, and based on my own personal experience, I disagree with you. Again, generally speaking.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 12:24 pm
malki2 wrote:
Without getting into the concept of the discounting of the eternal truths of Chazal, I’ve taught math for a number of years to both genders, and based on my own personal experience, I disagree with you. Again, generally speaking.


People generally find what they expect to find and see what they expect to see. In addition, the impact of socialization and cultural expectations cannot be overestimated.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 12:39 pm
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
People generally find what they expect to find and see what they expect to see. In addition, the impact of socialization and cultural expectations cannot be overestimated.


Look, I’m not going to go further on this because we can go back and forth all day. But if you just google “Do men and women think differently” you will find a ton of scientific articles on this subject. And I have Chazal to back me up. I’m just one of these old fashioned people who believes that are many more differences between men and women aside from their genitalia.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 12:49 pm
malki2 wrote:
Without getting into the concept of the discounting of the eternal truths of Chazal, I’ve taught math for a number of years to both genders, and based on my own personal experience, I disagree with you. Again, generally speaking.


Statistically speaking, the very top 1% of people who excel in mathematics are male. In the other 99% of the population, achievement in mathematics is equally divided.

Which, honestly, has nothing to do with learning Gemarah.

My husband was chosen as class representative for his proficiency in Gemarah, the very same year he failed his math class.
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 1:02 pm
malki2 wrote:
Well let me throw this back at you. How do you explain the opinion of Melamda Tiflus according to your understanding? Do you just ignore it? And no, I obviously don’t believe that the female mind is incapable of analytics, but I do know that Chazal differentiated between the male and female minds, and so does non-politically correct science, BTW. And while you are at it, please also explain your understanding of Nashim Daatan Kalos, and also Binah Yeseira, and whether or not you believe that these still apply. Also, please keep in mind that I am speaking generally, not in specifics. Meaning that I understand that there are exceptions to the rules and chazakos.


What does Melamda Tiflus mean? I understand it to mean that learning Gemarah sharpens the brain, and that can have a consequence of the woman using her brains to become promiscuous.

If you will read further in that gemarah, you will see that this is just one opinion, and there is another opinion in the gemarah that states the opposite. In any case, we do not pasken halacha from this, because if we would, as I mentioned, we would not be able to learn Rashi either (which, BTW, is what the Satmar Rebbe DID pasken, and is why they don't teach Chumash inside in Satmar).

Do YOU know what exactly Nashin Daatan Kalos means? Can you explain it? How do you know which aspect of intelligence this is referring to? And again, what does this have to do with women learning gemarah (this is NOT one of the reasons actually stated for women not learning gemarah)?
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 1:08 pm
Mommyg8 wrote:
What does Melamda Tiflus mean? I understand it to mean that learning Gemarah sharpens the brain, and that can have a consequence of the woman using her brains to become promiscuous.

If you will read further in that gemarah, you will see that this is just one opinion, and there is another opinion in the gemarah that states the opposite. In any case, we do not pasken halacha from this, because if we would, as I mentioned, we would not be able to learn Rashi either (which, BTW, is what the Satmar Rebbe DID pasken, and is why they don't teach Chumash inside in Satmar).

Do YOU know what exactly Nashin Daatan Kalos means? Can you explain it? How do you know which aspect of intelligence this is referring to? And again, what does this have to do with women learning gemarah (this is NOT one of the reasons actually stated for women not learning gemarah)?


No, I don’t know exactly what these mean although I do have an idea. But I do believe that women were generally discouraged from learning Gemara by people much wiser than me, and I do believe that there are differences in actual nature between men and women, and that their reasons were based primarily on these differences.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 1:50 pm
My first reaction to any man who thinks he can best me in formal logic is a loud guffaw. I don’t think that Chazal was saying anything about women’s ability to do logical reasoning, so I am not guffawing at them, merely at those who misinterpret Chazal.)

I could go on further, but between work, Daf Yomi, and cooking for Shabbat, this will have to wait until Sunday.

Malki2, you seem like the female incarnation of some men I used to date. Take that whichever way you wish.
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penguin




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 2:05 pm
I think one opinion about the tiflus piece was that she could use her knowledge of Gemara to outsmart the Sotah test, while the disagreeing rabbi said the Torah would protect her & that was good.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 2:24 pm
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
My first reaction to any man who thinks he can best me in formal logic is a loud guffaw. I don’t think that Chazal was saying anything about women’s ability to do logical reasoning, so I am not guffawing at them, merely at those who misinterpret Chazal.)

I could go on further, but between work, Daf Yomi, and cooking for Shabbat, this will have to wait until Sunday.

Malki2, you seem like the female incarnation of some men I used to date. Take that whichever way you wish.


You’re not the first person to have made that comment to me.

I was going to say this before, but I’ll say it now. I tried to contribute to this forum, and I know that I have ruffles some feathers. But the truth is that I have not always enjoyed the pile-on that occurred every now and then. I know that I was partially to blame, but some people here have also gone way over the top on the things that they said to me, and it’s been pretty hurtful sometimes. I may not be from the same school of thought of some of you, but I definitely have what to say and I really think that I have not always been treated fairly here. I’ve tried to tone down my rhetoric recently, and I hope that you guys will do the same. Have a good Shabbos everyone.
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