Women

womens lib

07.01.18

Question

Three women can bensh mezuman but ten women cannot absolve bircat hagomel said by another woman after eg childbirth. It needs an edah, ten men. I have never ever felt discriminated by any of our mitzvos or chukim and i really am looking for a good answer as i dont believe for a split second that a woman is inferior or discriminated against. A woman is different. I appreciate that. Hoping you can give me the correct answer

Answer

To the Questioner, 

I hope as well, that my answer be satisfactory for you. 

I know as well, that there is no aspect of discrimination in the Torah between men and women. They are simply created differently and they each hold different roles to play in the overall plan of G-d's creation. (On the ultimate level the women are really more important... but don't tell the men that!)

The ruling that a minyan being only through men, therefore, is G-d's way of telling us in the Torah that establishing a minyan is part of a man's role. There is no question that G-d has His reasons for delegating it that way, and certainly when the day will come and we will be able to understand the spirirtual underpinnings to creation, we will also see it that way!

In the meantime, there is no reason to arouse feelings of inferiority or discrimination in regard to the minyan that is required for Bircat Hagomel. G-d never said anything negative about women, and he clearly gave them other roles which men do not have. In one such mitzvah, we have passed down that a woman creates numerous guarding angels for herself, whereas a man, who does not have that role, does not. It would be very inappropriate for men to begin to feel discriminated against because they cannot perform the woman's mitzvah, just as inappropriate as it would be for a Commander in Chief of the Army to begin to lament why he is not part of the Air Force. Everyone has their part, and only together -  when everyone does their unique part wholeheartedly - can the entire country celebrate a victory. 

In the same way it is inappropriate for a woman to feel discriminated against because she would like to have a role (e.g. minyan) other than the ones she  received. Included within a woman's role is to bless G-d after a bread meal, and when three or more woman come together, they bless G-d according to the public form of blessing of zimun, which is a Rabbinic ordination which can apply to any appropriate public gathering.

With Blessings, 
Rav Nachum

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