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Debate on women learning Gemara s/o
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Odelyah




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 09 2020, 11:25 am
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
The Gemara itself says women arent allowed to learn Gemara
“Anyone who teaches his daughter Torah teaches her tiflus” (Sotah 21b).

https://dinonline.org/2015/11/.....omen/


I haven't read through this whole thread, so I'm probably repeating things that were already said, but I just posted an answer on a different thread, and then realized in was in the Litvish/yeshivish forum, so I'm pasting it below in case it is relevant and helpful here:

I don't have time to find and paste sources now-- but if you have a sefer Halichos Bas Yisroel you can look it up in the section on limud torah and read the footnotes at the bottom (in the Hebrew sefer-- could be in the English too but not sure). But to paraphrase/summarize quickly it is a pretty accepted mainstream yeshivish view that if a father (or anyone else), initiates and teaches a girl (the theoretical, not directly practical, halachic portions of) gemara, it is teaching her tiflus, because she is not mitzuva, and it is tafel-- much less important than teaching her the things she is required to know-- her ikar learning, I.e. all the halachos she needs to know, and Torah shebichsav, with mifarshim, sifrei machshava, musar etc. However it also states in halacha (Rambam and elsewhere) that a girl who studies torah (refers to torah she b'al peh) is rewarded (as an aina metzuva v'osah). The seeming contradiction really isn't one; the first case refers to a girl (who is not metzuva) being taught something of secondary importance for her, that she herself has not shown interest in. However if a woman or girl on her own feels intellectually drawn to gemara study and seeks it out (including asking her father to teach her, or finding another teacher for herself), she is rewarded. And it is muttar for those who teach her to teach her, because for her it is not tiflus.

(There are many examples of talmidos chachamos throughout history who knew torah sheb'al peh-- including Beruriah who is quoted in the gemara itself and was on the level of the tannaim. It is obvious that this was muttar.)
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Odelyah




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 09 2020, 11:39 am
naturalmom5 wrote:
Ginger I am very happy to hear that in your reality this so
In my circles I see SO MANY girls and women that either at risk , OTD completely, or just reverse Maranos

Something has to be done to inspire them.


this 100%.

and since women are not metzuva in gemara learning, they have the luxury of learning the areas of torah that suits the way their mind works, what they are drawn to and inspires them the most (in addition to learning what they are required to learn). So if a women is drawn to learning gemara and feels it will inspire her, then she is doing a beautiful mitzva and should be encouraged. But many girls who have it foisted upon them in school don't find it especially inspiring. (Neither do many boys/men and (hopefully!) learn other things for inspiration.) Every woman should find an area of Torah study that speaks to them, and make time for it. (Speaking mostly to myself about the making time thing! It's a real challenge for me even though it's my favorite thing.)
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 09 2020, 5:28 pm
Here's a link for sources:

https://judaism.stackexchange......emara
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 09 2020, 10:18 pm
JoyInTheMorning wrote:

I tried it, but didn't continue. The reason for me was that I've been doing a lot of Tanach anyway, and have done most of it at at least some level. What I really need to focus on are Daniel, Ezra, and Nechemia (difficult for me because of all the Aramaic), as well as some of the Trei Asar (no good reason for me not to have done those). So I'm working through those slowly, but at my own pace, because it's more meaningful to me that way. And because for Tanach I have a good chance of getting that done even without a "Yomi" program, which is not the case for Gemara. (For that, I know that I have to do Daf Yomi or something similar to get there.)
.


Very cool.
And you can substitute gemara and you get a similar explanation for why many men don't do the daf Wink
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 6:22 am
So here's something from the daf thread:

Mommyg8 wrote:
Do you realize how much of what you know about Yiddishkeit actually comes from the gemarah? Do you know how many times I'm thinking of a story to illustrate a point and a story from the gemarah comes to mind? Of course, I heard it third hand, as a by the way...

So I'm thinking, why do I learn things third hand? Why don't I learn things first hand?


My response there:
We've all learned Pirkei Avos. That doesn't mean I have the skills, etc. to learn Yevamos.

I'm going to copy and paste this with some other ideas in the debate thread
___________________________________________________

I'm not going to put words into Mommyg8's mouth but it's reminding me of other things I've read, like you learn so much from the gemara already - quotes from Rashis, ideas brought down in secondary sources, and hey, you even go to Rabbi Reisman who can spend 50 minutes on a shakla vetarya that you can follow and even ask intelligent questions on - of course you can learn gemara.

So my answer is, yes, of course I could. But it's not so simple to take that leap if I'm going to do it right. (For some reason I'm thinking of Biden's recent line that if you can sling coal down a mine of course you can program.) Gemara is nitty gritty, not one day on its own but one day as part of a whole. The whole being not necessary the whole 2711 but at least the sugya. I guess it's partly due to all the men in my life who've learned and are learning, whether 9-5 or 5-9 but to me, gemara is not for dabbling, and dabbling's the only way I could do it.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 6:27 am
Daf Yomi (even for men) is dabbling.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 6:34 am
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
Daf Yomi (even for men) is dabbling.


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
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Aylat




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:24 am
amother [ Fuchsia ] wrote:
It’s Definetly a feminist approach in my opinion! Like if the guys can do it so can I. I really don’t think it’s considered normal at al. I will
Leave this learning to men. Women have so much they can learn without competing with the men.


If a woman is doing it to 'prove' something, that is the wrong attitude. If she chooses to learn to expand her Torah knowledge and deepen her connection to Hashem, that is very different and IMHO praiseworthy.
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Aylat




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:25 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
I just finished reading "Learning to Read Midrash" by Simi Peters, who is a teacher at Nishmat. It's a very scholarly book, yet easy to understand. It's a great 101 place to start deeper learning.


She's amazing! She taught me midrash in sem (not Nishmat) and I have her book too. Definitely recommend.
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Aylat




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:29 am
Mommyg8 wrote:


As for myself, I decided that I really want to become more knowledgeable in Tanach, but I would love some kind of external motivation like Daf Yomi. I'm still looking...

I also like the idea of learning Ein Yaakov.

ETA: Edited for clarity.


The Nach Yomi cycle just started this week, check out https://www.ou.org/women/torat.....-up/, shiurim by women for women.
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Aylat




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:38 am
amother [ Pewter ] wrote:



Last machzor I decided to try Daf Yomi. I listened to all of Brachos while driving, cooking, etc. (I had learned some in HS). I decided I wasn't retaining enough, so for Shabbos I started taking detailed notes & even learned through many of the Maharsha's on Aggadata on my own. But then some things got busy & I put it aside for a while, finally finished with about 1000 pages of notes which I hope to use this time around!

I rejoined this machzor around Chulin, I think. I am now about 20 blatt behind because of YT and some other things, but I am doing my best to do 1 1/2-2 blatt most days so I can catch up.


Wow!!!!!
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:53 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


Yes. I and other women I know are doing it with a shiur. I am listening to Michelle Cohen Farber‘s shiurim, which are great, detailed, analytic, quickly bring in the main points of some Rashis and Tosafots, refers to other relevant sugyas in the Gemara. If I focus carefully and spend a few minutes after it ends doing a quick chazarah, I feel like I “own” the Daf reasonably well. I have listened to the 8 minute Daf, and that seems more like dabbling to me. It’s a shiur outside of the text, only covers a few topics, and seems more geared toward the lessons you can learn from that Daf. (Farber’s shiurim stress the lessons you learn as well, but that’s only part of it.) The 8 minute Daf is certainly worthwhile if that is what you are after, but I am after more, so I will try to keep going on with Rabbanit Farber’s shiurim.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 7:57 am
Aylat wrote:
If a woman is doing it to 'prove' something, that is the wrong attitude. If she chooses to learn to expand her Torah knowledge and deepen her connection to Hashem, that is very different and IMHO praiseworthy.


Learning is something to be encouraged no matter what the motive. Mitoch shelo l’shma ba l’shma.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:08 am
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
Learning is something to be encouraged no matter what the motive. Mitoch shelo l’shma ba l’shma.


Is that really true about everything?
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:14 am
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
Learning is something to be encouraged no matter what the motive. Mitoch shelo l’shma ba l’shma.


That’s not completely true. It says for example, Lo Yilmod Al Minas Lekanter. Mitoch shelo lishma specifically refers to if a person requires incentive to learn, and he can’t learn Lishma, he should do so nonetheless, and eventually he will come to the Lishma, on the condition that he begins learning with the intent that he wishes to one day reach the level of Lishma. But if a person starts out learning with improper intentions (not saying this about anyone on this thread) then he (or she) will not come to the Lishma. If, for example, a kofer learns Gemara so that he will be able to confront someone with it, the Gemara will not make him (or her) into a better person.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:22 am
malki2 wrote:
That’s not completely true. It says for example, Lo Yilmod Al Minas Lekanter. Mitoch shelo lishma specifically refers to if a person requires incentive to learn, and he can’t learn Lishma, he should do so nonetheless, and eventually he will come to the Lishma, on the condition that he begins learning with the intent that he wishes to one day reach the level of Lishma. But if a person starts out learning with improper intentions (not saying this about anyone on this thread) then he (or she) will not come to the Lishma. If, for example, a kofer learns Gemara so that he will be able to confront someone with it, the Gemara will not make him (or her) into a better person.


I was thinking of starting a spinoff on the parameters of this chazal.
Though what would you say of Raish Lakish? Was there a kernel of honest intent, or was it just to marry R' Yochanan's sister?
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:30 am
malki2 wrote:
That’s not completely true. It says for example, Lo Yilmod Al Minas Lekanter. Mitoch shelo lishma specifically refers to if a person requires incentive to learn, and he can’t learn Lishma, he should do so nonetheless, and eventually he will come to the Lishma, on the condition that he begins learning with the intent that he wishes to one day reach the level of Lishma. But if a person starts out learning with improper intentions (not saying this about anyone on this thread) then he (or she) will not come to the Lishma. If, for example, a kofer learns Gemara so that he will be able to confront someone with it, the Gemara will not make him (or her) into a better person.


I think that is sometimes true. On the other hand, I’ve seen kofrim become religious after a few years of learning! I saw this happen at Drisha, where I studied for several years. My feeling is this: These days, if people want to learn Gemara, they have enough ways to do this. Nobody checks the kashrut of your kitchen when you want to buy Shteinsaltz or
Koren. So if kofrim will learn no matter what, they may as well do so in an environment where they can be influenced by other religious people.

And no, I am not worried about the non frum influencing the frum. In my other forays In Daf Yomi groups on social media, I saw in the first few days some mocking posts from non frum women. They died down amazingly quickly. This is too hard to continue, even for a few days, if your heart isn’t in the right place.
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malki2




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:33 am
PinkFridge wrote:
I was thinking of starting a spinoff on the parameters of this chazal.
Though what would you say of Raish Lakish? Was there a kernel of honest intent, or was it just to marry R' Yochanan's sister?


I think that the deal was just to get him to change his ways, but I would assume that when he actually started learning, he did so with the proper intent. But either way, mitoch shelo lishma does allow for learning for the sake of receiving reward. It’s only an issue if someone learns without the correct understanding of what Torah is. Then you can’t say that he will automatically reach the correct understanding.
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JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:35 am
PinkFridge wrote:
Is that really true about everything?


As I said above in response to malki2, I don’t think it’s always true. But it is in general.

Note also the huge difference between encouraging/pushing a non frum woman to learn Gemara if she has shown no interest vs accommodating her if she does show interest. IME, Chabad does the latter but not the former. (Note; I am not Chabad.)
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jan 10 2020, 8:38 am
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?
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