Post Reply
Page 2 of 2  •  Prev 1 2
Switch to Forum Live View how much learning is allowed?
4 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2010 - 3:28PM #11
aprilerin
Posts: 7

Thank you for your helpful insights NahumS and Pam34 and also for the web links you sent me. I guess as a woman I want to have a family, so I need to provide for that family. For me it would be counterproductive to spend all day learning, i.e. be a scholar. I think I would suffer emotionally on the long run. But on the other hand I am greatly encited to study and spent much time learning already. I've read the whole Bible, some parts on my own, read some Talmud, Jewish authors, Maimonides,.... I am encited by the notion that Hashem would provide as for the Levites, so for a full-time scholar.So I am from those priviledged who were able to study independently and in a university. But that took it's toll. I am not married and I am almost 34.


so I will combine a profession and study. But they are both demanding and I feel like study is the creative part of life and profession is more a technical part of life even if it is important. I am afraid that most of my energy (the commandment is 6 days to work) will be spend on work. Even if I manage to study during the night, it will be rare compared to work. Nevertheless some said that if one spends one day regularly on learning any subject, by the end of the life he/she will be an expert.


So, I dont know how to descern what to do, either become a full-time scholar and risk to receive livelihood provision from G-d or to balance work and study at the expence of study on the long run. Then also some said that book knowledge is not the greatest form of knowledge. So having a family, work, house, mortgage.... might bring more learning than spending most of my time in library

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2011 - 8:45PM #12
book__worml
Posts: 1

Some observant Jews carry the "rest" too far.  This is 2011, right?  Things are a bit different now than they were in Biblical times.  For example, I know several couples who don't even answer their phone or turn lights on and off, or even flush their commode, for heaven's sake! They call in a non-Jewish neighbor to perform those basic tasks.  I can just see myself running next door to flush my neighbor's toilet.  C'mon, let's be real.  There is also some tenet about driving on the Shabbat.  Well, how in God's name (excuse me) are we supposed to get to the shul to worship and study Torah, when the shul is 10 miles away and it's 20 below zero?  Sure, some people walk to the synagogue.  That's fine if you live on the same block, and your knees are not crippled with arthritis.  I'm not trying to be a smart aleck.  These are merely items of practicality.  If the Sabbath was meant to create more work or hardship, then how is it a day of rest?  That's actually the point I'm trying to make.  

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2011 - 9:38PM #13
Pam34
Posts: 2,649

It's not actually a day of REST, in the sense of being restful or resting (although it often IS), it is rather a day of ceasing from creative forms of WORK - of 'doing'. One 'rests' (stops) from 'doing' things that make changes in the world - like sowing and reaping, and plowing, and making things - there are 39 varieties of activities called 'work'.


 


The electric light thing is an interpretation based on the prohibition against the 'work' of creating fire - moving a switch completes a circuit (or breaks one) that 'creates' a spark - and completes a movement that results in something 'new' (a light, for instance) that wasn't there before. That custom is primarily an orthodox level of observance (though not entirely).


 


Driving also involves 'starting' a fire of a sort - and is, besides, a distraction to the mind. Plus what if it needs gas? Handling money is not a Sabbath activity.


 


You are assuming that there is a 'requirement' to attend services on the Sabbath, and that is not so. There is a requirement to observe the Sabbath. There is no requirement to join with others in order to do so, if by doing so one violates the Sabbath.


 


That said - the Conservative movement permits driving on the Sabbath for the express purpose of attending services: there and back again - no stopping at the grocery or the post office, no side trips. In the ideal community, everyone would live within walking distance.

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2011 - 3:09AM #14
NahumS
Posts: 1,709

Aprilerin-


To complicate matters, traditionally, Judaism does not obligate women to study Torah. Before the screaming begins, read the rest.


Studying Torah is, as you point out, a lifetime pursuit, one of intellectual and spiritual pursuit of learning. The ideal is fulltime study (for someone who is able to and suited for this), without any necessary connection to the knowledge one needs to be an observant Jew, or any other practical purpose. Women, with their family obligations, are not obligated to spend their free time in intense theoretical study.


Some sources point out intellectual differences between men and women -not greater or lesser intelligence, but different. Women are thought to be more insightful, practical and less suited to rigorous categorical thinking. Maybe it's cultural, maybe a relic from the past.


In any case, except for some very insulated Hasidic groups, mainstream orthodoxy advocates intensive Torah education for women. The intellectual demands of modern life, women's opportunities in the secular world, etc. make it essential for observant women to be Jewishly educated. Knowing practial halacha (Jewish law) from home is just not sufficient today.


What knowledge do both men and women need to be oservant Jews? Faith and practice. A thorough familiarity with the rules that govern Sabbath and festival observance, daily prayer, blessings, family purity - and the laws that relate to how we are meant to relate to our fellow man: honesty, kindness, not speaking evil, etc. Add to that a good grounding in Jewish thought (philosophy), Bible, and homeletic literature.


In addition, the traditional curriculum of yeshivas centers on Talmud study - not just reading Talmud, but intensive analysis. This is the theoretical type of learning that was once just the province of men. Today, there are many women who find Talmudic learning fascinating and challenging.


In short - women's obligation to study focuses on material that is related to observance and developing a religious world-view. According to Men are obligated to study Torah for its own sake, unrelated to their own personal needs.


Today, women who are interested in doing so, have tremendous opportunities to study Torah on all levels. I personally know a number of impressive scholars who are women.


My sons and daughters all received an intensive Torah education in Orthodox schools. I was happier about my daughters' education - it aimed at preparing them for life as religious women, and I think that it did that. My boys had an education that was Talmud-heavy, and two out of three did not enjoy Talmud study, nor were they very successful at it.


Book-worm -


Whatever the calendar date, the Sabbath is the Sabbath. Before you put down traditional observance, try to visit an observant family (most are very hospitable) for a Sabbath and see for yourself how beautiful and delightful it can be. Over the years we have hosted many non-observant, and the experience has been mutually worthwhile and pleasant. It is hard to understand Sabbath observance without experiencing it.


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2011 - 10:37AM #15
Pam34
Posts: 2,649

Nahum is right - it is hard to celebrate/enjoy the Sabbath alone - and in today's typical American community, if a person/family does not drive to services (and many do not) they are alone, because relatively few Jewish families live in observant Jewish neighborhoods - the ghetto (whether imposed or voluntary) is largely gone.


 


Our orthodox friends - who mostly live in densely populated cities in heavily Jewish neighborhoods - say 'everybody should move to be close enough to shul to walk!' or they say 'Jews should live together and make their own shul so they can walk!' and I tell them - sure. Make it possible for my job - and everyone's job - to be relocateable to convenient places, and also while you are at it, make it possible for everyone to make enough money to AFFORD to buy/rent a place near the synagogue - oh, and while you are doing all that - change me (and others) into the kind of people who can stand to live in crowded noisy cities....because I can't and won't. It would kill me. Plus  my job TYPE is inherently rural/isolated and cannot change, and even if I wanted to move to the city and live near the synagogue - any of them - I don't make enough to live in those neighborhoods (typically).


 


So what do we do on Shabbat? We turn off the television - that's a pretty big deal. I don't work on Saturday (and in my profession, that is actually a fairly big and important detail). I typically don't make any 'be here at' plans and I leave my watch on the counter.


We eat together as a family (often if not invariably) and we light candles and say the blessings, and if I can coerce the girls into it, we sing birkat hamazon after dinner on Friday night.


I make an attempt, at least, to avoid going 'out'. I read. I may take a walk.


 


As for 'study': studying is required, but the topic is optional, as Nahum recounted. Typically children learn basics of daily observance at home, which may include some Talmud - it does at our house - nothing formal, but Talmudic topics get mentioned and discussed.


Formal study varies - we have weekly Torah study with commentaries for the adults in our community (a very very small community, but we do get together for holidays and specifically for study sessions). This year we are tackling a little Talmud - not too seriously, but looking into it in a kind of overview, once a week. The point is to make TIME to study, not to take some specific AMOUNT of time for study.


I believe it was Hillel who said to set a time to study, because if you didn't set a time, you might never do it. (OK, I know that's in Pirkei Avot, but I'm not positive it was Hillel).


 


 


 


 


 

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2012 - 2:01PM #16
Caretta-caretta
Posts: 11

Women are not obligated to keep ANY of the time-bound mitzvot (wearing the tallit, tefillin and so on) precisely because they may have family committments that prevent them from doing so.


The essence of Shabbat is not the refraining from work, but that you cannot create anything - for example, you don't drive your car, not because that is "work" but because when you start the engine, you have created a circuit.  Same with using switches and pressing buttons.  In Israel, the lifts (elevators) are designed to stop at evey floor on Shabbat so you don't have to press the buttons.  


Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2012 - 2:07PM #17
Caretta-caretta
Posts: 11

Dec 29, 2010 -- 8:34PM, ffb wrote:


Dec 28, 2010 -- 7:07PM, Dennis wrote:


A famous Jewish Rabbi is widely quoted as saying that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, but he was murdered--so much for individual freedom!




achad ha'am said "more than the jews have kept the sabbath, the sabbath has kept the jews."


I think this speaks to me more than your "quote"





Are there Non-Jewish rabbis?

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2012 - 7:04PM #18
ffb
Posts: 2,127

Jan 14, 2012 -- 2:07PM, Caretta-caretta wrote:

Dec 29, 2010 -- 8:34PM, ffb wrote:


Dec 28, 2010 -- 7:07PM, Dennis wrote:


A famous Jewish Rabbi is widely quoted as saying that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, but he was murdered--so much for individual freedom!




achad ha'am said "more than the jews have kept the sabbath, the sabbath has kept the jews."


I think this speaks to me more than your "quote"





Are there Non-Jewish rabbis?


 "rabbi" is a term for someone who has attained a level of learning (or at least, leadership) within a Jewiosh community. it is reserved for Jews.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 2 of 2  •  Prev 1 2
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook