Who Runs the World?

6 years ago eglazer 0

Have you ever wondered about feminism in Judaism and what the Torah has to say about the role of a woman? I’ve always been curious about the topic, and recent world events have caused me to stop and consider what feminism really means.  This got me to thinking about what is the role of a Jewish women. Why do we do what we do? How do we execute the role?


Today, it seems as if some want to change the purpose to become equal. But, just because men and women do different tasks, does not mean one gender is greater than the other. It means we have our roles, that together, make a complete society. Instead of trying to change the roles we have, we should explore deeper into what our role is and manifest the soul that shines within us.


The role of women in Jewish life goes back to the very beginning, since the times of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel. Their lives had purpose and meaning, with their unique goals that made them shine and stand out. From the outside, it may seem that Jewish women play less of a role than their male counterparts. Really, it comes down to the fact that we simply do things differently than men, or that we are exempt from doing things that they do, such as the mitzvah of wearing a yarmulka. Men wear them in order to become spiritually elevated. Their souls need a way to reach to Hashem in a way a woman’s soul doesn’t. Women are naturally spiritual. But just because we don’t need mitzvahs in order to get our souls elevated, doesn’t mean that we don’t need mitzvahs to keep our souls there.


One very important mitzvah for a Jewish woman is the mitzvah of lighting Shabbat candles. As we light the candles, we’re also adding light into our homes and elevating the atmosphere of the home. The home of which some women may teach their kids the importance of morals and values. The home in which Judaism is maintained through women because Judaism is passed down through the mother not the father. The light which we spark on Shabbat is maintained every day of the week through the Jewish woman.


Speaking of Shabbat, the Eishet Chayil is sung every Friday night. “Eishet Chayil” means “Women of Valor” and is a song for women. Fun fact, each verse begins with a letter going in alphabetical order; the order is the foundation of the prayer just as a woman is the foundation to a home. Woman are the foundation to life and wisdom.


Another topic to discuss is the mechitza, the physical divide between the men and women, in shuls during services. We do this not to lessen the prayers of women but to enhance it. Separation is beneficial to both men and women. It is obvious that both genders are different. When hanging out with friends, conversations will be different if the opposite gender is there, the activities will be different, and even the dress might be different. Males and females both act differently when it comes to being with one another. This is not a bad thing or good thing; it’s just different. Our thought processes are different and when it comes to prayer, we want to be completely focused and not distracted by other thoughts that may cross our mind.


Women may be different, but in no way are we less than or are men more powerful. Want to talk about powerful Jewish women? Think about all the women that work to make CTeen the awesome network that it is today. Let’s give a round of applause to our CTeen Rebbetzins for the wisdom, knowledge, and empowerment they’ve given all of us.

The roots of feminism go back to the times of our foremothers, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel. Times may be changing, but this is just bringing out more positive attributes of women allowing us to shine brighter. We are women of valor and we’re here to stay because, who runs the world? Girls!