Free Spirit

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5 Responses

  1. The Contarian says:

    Rabbi Shafran

    “The only free person,” they explain, “is the one immersed in Torah.”

    That’s because he makes his wife clean the house for Pesach, whlle he sits and learns.

    The joke is half serious. The word person as used above refers exlusively to a male.

    How are women free according to authentic Jewish sources?

  2. tzippi says:

    Maybe this is what the patriarchy wants us to think, but I was taught that the full saying was, “The only free person is one engaged in Torah and mitzvos.”

  3. Nathan says:

    Jewish women are obligated to study Torah laws that apply to them.

    The Vilna Gaon wanted Jewish girls to study Mishlei (Proverbs).

  4. Ori says:

    The Contrarian, I think that Rabbi Shafran’s use to “Torah” is more expansive than that. It includes practicing the Mitzvot, as learning them.

  5. Albie says:

    I think Rabbi Shafran makes it clear that the freedom he’s referring to is obeying G-d and observing the Torah’s laws, not studying Torah.

    But I’m not sure that is what the saying he quotes is really referring to. “Osek batorah” is usually understood as studying Torah, I think.

    Still, the rabbi’s point is true. Living according to the Torah is what Jewish freedom is meant to be. And that’s something very different from what the word freedom means to most people these days.

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