The role of women in society is changing and now, more than ever, women are asking, "What is my place in Torah?", "Are there limits to the Torah subjects I should study?" The Lubavitcher Rebbe addresses himself to these questions, drawing on eternally relevant Torah principles and applying them within the context of contemporary life.
When G-d told Moshe to prepare the Jews to receive the Torah, He commanded him, "This is what you shall say to the House of Yaakov and speak to the children of Israel." Our Sages explain that the "House of Yaakov" refers to Jewish women, and "the children of Israel," to the men; i.e., G-d told Moshe to approach the women first.
This order implies a sense of priority. For Torah to be perpetuated among the Jewish people, precedence must be given to Jewish women. Giving such prominence to women may appear questionable in view of several traditional attitudes. Those attitudes, however, are narrow and For Torah to be perpetuated among the Jewish people, precedence must be given to Jewish women restrictive when judged by the objective standard of Torah law and certainly may be considered so within the context of the application of these standards to contemporary society.
Torah law requires a woman to study all the laws and concepts necessary to observe the commandments which she is obligated to fulfill. This encompasses a vast scope of knowledge, including the laws of Shabbat, keeping kosher and Family Purity, and many other areas of Jewish law. Indeed, many men would be happy if their Torah knowledge would be as complete.
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