Re: Yeshiva Shem V'Ever

Bernard Laufer (
Sat, 8 Mar 1997 21:59:56 -0500

> Tszvi ( wrote:
> > At Sinai we were Mushba Umeumad, sworn to oath to uphold the Torah.
> > The Avot were not sworn to uphold the Torah (that is why it is a special
> > merit for them).

To which Mirqa responded:
> Okay, let me get this straight: the Avot weren't required to perform the
> mitzvot found in the Torah so it is a special merit for them that they chose
> to do anyway. But when women perform mitzvot such as Torah study that they
> are not required to do, the fact that they are not obligated makes the
> performance of LESS merit than when a man does it.

The word "special" within the context of Mr. Klugerman's post doesn't mean
extraordinary or exceptional, but additional or extra. In other words, Mr.
Klugerman is saying that since the Avot were not sworn to uphold the Torah it
was an additional merit for them that they did -- not that they deserved
exceptional merit for upholding the Torah. In fact, they deserved less merit
for upholding the Torah than a Jew that upheld the Torah after its giving on
Mount Sinai.

Torah study per se may not be required for a Jewish Woman, but she has to
know the negative commandments as well as the positive commandments that
she is responsible for so in fact she does have to study the Torah to
attain this knowledge, and in the process of learning these laws it is the
opinion of this writer that her merit is equal to the merit of a man
studying the same laws. We know from tradition that Sarah's level of
prophecy was higher than Avraham's which goes to show that if a Jewish
Woman properly executes her role within a Torah framework, she can reach a
higher spiritual level than a Jewish Man even though he has to uphold more
mitzvot. ( I guess it was another case where quality proved itself
superior to quantity. <G>)

Dov Laufer
"Life is in the details." (Albert Einstein)