February 9, 2023 / 18 Shevat, 5783 • Parshat Yitro
Issue 756
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Moses ascended to G-d. G-d called out to him from the mountain, saying, “You must say the following to the House of Jacob and relate it to the Israelites.” 

Exodus 19:3

G-d here instructs Moses to teach the Torah first to the women (“the House of Jacob”) and then to the men (“the Israelites”).

While women’s role in rearing children exempts them from constant study of the Torah, they are required to master the Torah’s laws and theology that they must know in order to lead proper spiritual lives. Indeed, because of their crucial role in forging the spiritual foundation of their children’s lives, the necessity for women to study the Torah takes precedence over that of the men.

With regard to the more abstract realms of Torah study, since we have more leisure time than formerly, women should study those aspects of the Torah formerly deemed men’s province. This will ensure that they develop their intellectual abilities in accord with the Torah’s logic and purity, and conversely, it will encourage them to seek intellectual excitement and fulfillment in Torah study rather than in secular philosophy and culture.

This development in women’s Torah study is both a foretaste and a preparation for the imminent Messianic Redemption. At that time, women will participate in drawing Divine wisdom from the Torah on an equal footing with men.

—from Daily Wisdom 3