While men tend to see the big picture, women have a unique ability to discern fine details. For this reason, the sages of Israel had adopted the practice of consulting with their wives even regarding matters whose ultimate decision seemed clear. They knew that their wives might be able to see something that they could easily miss.
The Talmud discusses a time when the sages of Israel wanted to remove Rabban Gamliel from his presidency and appoint Rabbi Eliezer Ben Azariah instead. However, when they informed Rabbi Eliezer of their decision, and asked if he would agree to accept the position of president, he said to them: “I will seek the counsel of the members of my household – so he went to ask his wife for advice”, but at the end, he did not take her advice. So why did he ask her in the first place? To make sure that he didn’t miss any detail that she might have been able to see as a woman. Only after hearing her concerns and determining that they were either irrelevant or invalid, did he agree to accept the position.
The sages continued: “The woman has a stronger perception of guests than the man”. Meaning, she has the ability to pick up on the nuances of their behavior much more so than the man who tends to trust people more easily. Therefore, if a person wants to go into business with a friend but his wife warns him that his friend is dishonest, he should reconsider the partnership and reassess whether he should move forward with it or not…
But Regarding Daat, it says that ‘the minds of women are light’ – in other words, even after a woman makes a decision, she is not completely adamant about it – she is more flexible than the man and can easily change her mind. This flexibility is conducive to the family nest, as it balances her strong, unyielding husband who has a hard time changing his mind (this partnership is conducive provided that he gives her the emotional needs she requires in the proper way). This is an amazing wonder! The flexible, soft-natured woman rooted in the Sphere of Judgment can manifest herself clearly as a protective and inhibiting wall whenever necessary, as both of these qualities were embedded in her so she can fulfill her lofty role, bringing the inner aspect of the home to the desired completeness.
Even the woman’s unique aptitude for speech (as the sages state, “Women received nine measures of speech”) is something that has been proven by research and statistics, and relates to her unique role as minister of the interior of the family nest.
Adapted from “The Keys to Life” by Rabbi Zamir Cohen