Tzarich Iyun > “Seder Iyun”: Deliberations > “Noble Women”: Matter and Spirit in the Lives of Charedi Women

“Noble Women”: Matter and Spirit in the Lives of Charedi Women

Our generation has created a new range of challenges for the Charedi woman. Her world has become more material and secular, distancing her from the world of Jewish content. The solution is a reconnection to Torah study.

Tevet 5781, January 2021

Several months ago, the following headline appeared on a popular Charedi news website: “City Rabbi Complains: Kollel Students Have Become Cooks.” The item reported a conference for parents of seminary girls in Bnei Brak, which discussed “kosher workplaces” for women. Rabbi Meir Kessler, Chief Rabbi of Modiin Ilit, bemoaned our ongoing generational crisis: In his view, the central Charedi value of making do with little is falling by the wayside. Yeshiva students seeking their soulmate are thus no longer satisfied to marry a school or kindergarten teacher, preferring that their future wives work in more remunerative industries such as hi-tech.

Rabbi Kessler then presented a paradoxical conundrum: “She works so he can learn in Kollel, and he becomes a housewife so she can work.”

Rabbi Kessler then presented a paradoxical conundrum: “She works so he can learn in Kollel, and he becomes a housewife so she can work.” Indeed, it is not uncommon in our circles to see Kollel students getting up early in the morning to get their kids to their various schools, returning to pick them up in the early afternoon hours, and babysitting until mothers return from work. Such an arrangement was a rarity in previous generations when mothers were not required to work eight or more hours a day; today, it has become the norm. We cannot help but notice that the challenges our generation faces are different from those of previous generations.

Allow me, by way of introduction, to say a few words about these challenges.


Women at Crossroads

In his abovementioned speech, Rabbi Kessler mentioned that existing workplaces create far from simple challenges for the Jewish home: secular employers seek to create social camaraderie and invite workers to happy hours, hangouts, courses, and meals. Many workplaces have unfiltered internet, requirements of academic degrees, and so on. Speeches at the conference described the new reality taking shape before our eyes. In the past, Charedi women chose to focus on raising the future generation and were proud of being “housewives,” while today’s data shows significant increases in rates of Charedi women in the workforce. In 2018, 76% of Charedi women were employed (an increase of over 25% over the course of 15 years), higher even than that of non-Charedi Israeli women (and only slightly lower than non-Charedi Jewish women).

If that isn’t enough, the type of jobs held by Charedi women has also seen a radical change. Between 2001 and 2015, the number of Charedi women working in education dropped from 64% to 42%. Aside from teaching school and kindergarten, Charedi women can now be found in many professional fields. Charedi seminaries (post-high school) offer vocational training programs in more fields than ever: accounting, programming, graphic design, musical therapy, architecture, and so on. Even following graduation, an active and lively market provides complementary studies. Teaching institutions offer a huge variety of courses for seminary graduates, enriching participants’ professional knowledge and providing them with credits that can procure higher paychecks.

Ours is thus an entirely different situation from that of previous generations. If Charedi women were once synonymous with the home and its care, in recent years they have begun to spend a significant portion of their time at work, acquiring education and tools to develop professionally

Alongside the seminary track, a parallel market of Charedi academia has proliferated. More than half of Charedi girls take the bagrut high school matriculation exams. In the years 2016-2017, women made up two-thirds of the Charedi student population in academia. Charedi women acquire academic education and integrate into the workforce as lawyers, para-medical specialists, and even doctors, social workers, psychologists, and more. Many within the community oppose this phenomenon and condemn it, but their principal success is delaying the entry of Charedi women into academia by several years. The reality on the ground cannot be denied: Charedi academia has produced many graduating classes of Charedi women.

Ours is thus an entirely different situation from that of previous generations. If Charedi women were once synonymous with the home and its care, in recent years they have begun to spend a significant portion of their time at work, acquiring education and tools to develop professionally.

The first challenge arising from these changes in Charedi women’s lives is material. The formation of the men’s “learning society” meant the Charedi woman was left to deal with all worldly matters, from breadwinning to running technical aspects of the household. Of course, this is not necessarily the norm for all households, but its prevalence has led to a female Charedi culture that is consumer savvy, fashion-conscious, and culinarily sophisticated. Taking up the baton of orchestrating the household, Charedi women have absorbed a deeply materialistic mindset; and this comes at the price of everything else. A good demonstration of this is a recent issue of a women’s pre-Rosh Hashanah marketing newsletter. The newsletter contained some two hundred pages of marketing content focused on material issues, while only a few pages offered spiritual preparation for the High Holidays. One could say they were batel beshishim.

The second challenge picking up speed in recent years is effectively a consequence of the first. Searching for intellectual development in their lives, Charedi women have turned en masse to academic studies, specialization in some secular field or another. The justification of supporting a husband in Kollel gives this intellectual activity social acceptance, and rather than anything related to Torah or Judaism, Charedi women thus engage in the pursuit of in-depth secular knowledge—often in purpose-made Charedi institutions. Intellectual discourse, wherever it can be found, is thus limited to fields of secular professional knowledge such as psychology, social work, literature, and so on.

What these two challenges share is the distancing of the Charedi woman from Jewish content. Her world becomes ever more materialistic, and paths of intellectual development are limited to the secular. In the face of this reality, we need to give due consideration to how the values of the Jewish home can be preserved. It seems we can no longer suffice with the accepted chizuk conferences or rabbinic protests. The alarmist rhetoric hardly supplies a working solution; at best it causes our women pangs of guilt, and at worst its detachment from their everyday experiences pushes them still further away. The words of Rav Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg, the Seridei Eish, are as relevant as ever in this context:

Rav Yisrael (Salanter) argued that opposition to secular Haskalah alone is not sufficient. […] The only defense against the danger of a spiritual movement penetrating from the outside is creating a counter-spiritual movement and opening the gates to a living and refreshing stream of thought flowing from the depths of the Jewish soul.

The fears of the Seridei Eish are taking shape before our eyes. Lacking a spiritual movement that opens the “gates to a living and refreshing stream of thought,” Charedi women’s minds are easy prey for feminist and postmodern agendas, and it is no wonder that these are all too easily adopted. All of us, men and women together, need to stop and think about what tools should be developed to defend us from these threats.


Feminism and Torah Study

Notwithstanding its impressive mechanisms of isolation from secular society, the tremendous changes in women’s status across the globe have not left Charedi society unaffected. As an ideology originating in Western thought, and one often identified with anti-Torah values, the term “feminism” rouses much opposition among Charedi communities. Yet at the same time, Charedi society is clearly far from immune from the feminist ideas of its surrounding Western society. The very fact that Charedi women have the right to own property, run bank accounts, be partners to decisions regarding their children, vote and be elected to the Knesset and local government (though not with Charedi parties), acquire knowledge and earn degrees – all these are the products of long struggles fought throughout the world. Like it or not, feminism is already here.

Women are called upon to leave home and provide, become professionals and entrepreneurs. Given this situation, the concern is that feminist thought will be embraced wholesale by Charedi women, which based on current worldwide trends would of course threaten the very integrity of Torah society

When looking at women’s status from a Jewish perspective faithful to Torah values, we are duty-bound to separate the wheat from the chaff. Certainly, we must refrain from adopting a mindset foreign to the spirit of the Torah. But alongside this firm reservation, we do require a new way of thinking about women’s status in this age and generation. Our times do not allow women to stay within the confines of the home. They invite, if not require, their presence in many other places. Women are called upon to leave home and provide, become professionals and entrepreneurs. Given this situation, the concern is that feminist thought will be embraced wholesale by Charedi women, which based on current worldwide trends would of course threaten the very integrity of Torah society. This is not the time to rest on our laurels.

Charedi women are increasingly presented with two options to choose from. The first is to stay in the lane of material sustenance: consumer culture, culinary expertise, and fashion. The second is for those who desire knowledge: Since the Torah beis midrash is closed to them, the only available course is to pursue “secular studies.” It is far from rare to find Charedi women acquiring a broad education in many subjects, not only as an economic necessity but even to satisfy a psychological need for learning and knowledge.

Having left her seminary education behind, the Charedi woman’s spiritual world often ceases to evolve. Her only channels of development are material or secular. She is tasked with seeing to household affairs and providing for the family; as for nourishment of the soul, she must choose between materialism or general fields of knowledge. The framework for both these pursuits, naturally enough, is female empowerment – feminism. Can we make peace with such a situation?

The solution I wish to raise for this situation is hardly new, but for our society, it remains elusive: Torah study. The study of Torah, in all its varieties, is, without doubt, the ultimate intellectual horizon for providing an alternative to the material and secular avenues currently available to the Charedi woman. Torah study can enrich her world with Torah and Mussar, as well as grant her a sense of self-worth, silencing the feminist call of the secular street while supplying an internal framework for the Charedi woman’s self-understanding and relationship with Hashem. These are sorely missing today, and as noted, a vacuum never stays empty but rather invites foreign influences that can be deeply damaging.


The Torah Study Revolution

For hundreds if not thousands of years, it was customary that while boys were sent to school (Talmud Torah) for Torah study, girls would stay at home and learn the foundations of religion, faith, and ways of life from their mothers. With the imposition of compulsory education in Europe, girls were sent to public schools, while the community “chederim” continued to provide the educational needs of boys. The result was that girls acquired knowledge and acculturation in fields such as literature, history, and language, becoming European in their dress, speech, and education, while their knowledge of Judaism was slim to non-existent. This ignorance led to the tragic distancing of Jewish women from religion. Official data, which reveals only the tip of the iceberg, tell us some 400 Jewish women from Krakow converted to Christianity between the end of the nineteenth century and the Second World War.

This kind of alienation from Torah life and values required a response, and one proposal was indeed Torah study. Rabbi Mendel Haim Landa, the Rabbi of Nowy Dror in the district of Warsaw, said the following at a 1903 Rabbinical convention in Krakow:

The girls, even among the [God-]fearing, will, unfortunately, be educated in the spirit of foreigners. They read the literature of each nation in their language and (…) of the faith of Israel they will know nothing. […] I say that the time decisively demands that we teach our girls knowledge in Torah so that they come to observe the Mitzvos… And those who quote the Sages who stated that all who teach their daughter Torah it is as though they are teaching her tiflus [superstition or promiscuity], I say this was only in the days of old when women’s wisdom was only in the spindle […] but now that they learn all sorts of superstitions why should their Torah studies be less than other studies.

These words encountered a great deal of resistance, and no practical plan was formed to establish a school or teach girls Jewish studies. Further efforts were later made to advance Torah education for girls, but every such attempt hit a brick wall of opposition. Jewish girls thus continued to study in non-Jewish institutions and move gradually away from the Torah of Israel.

Ultimately, the situation on the ground became untenable, and the action came not from the Rabbinic establishment but from Sarah Schenirer, who took matters into her own hands, opening an institution for teaching Jewish girls, including Torah classes. Later, her initiative even received Rabbinic approval and became the Bais Yaakov movement that conquered the Jewish world. As for the problem of teaching Torah to girls, the Mishnah Berurah writes as follows:

And it seems that all this was in bygone times when everyone would live where their fathers lived and the ancestral tradition was strong. […] Today, however, the tradition of fathers is greatly weakening and it is common for people to not live where their fathers did, and especially those who are accustomed to learning the writing and language of the nations, it is certainly a great commandment to teach them [girls] Chumash and Nevi’im and Kesubim and lessons of the sages such as Pirkei Avos and Menoras Hama’or and the like. In the absence of such learning, it is possible that they will entirely stray from the path of God and violate all the foundations of the religion, God forbid.

The words of the Chafetz Chayim speak for themselves. The Sages indeed criticized those who teach their daughters Torah, but the reality of life has changed and today we are commanded to teach girls Torah to prevent their straying from the path of God. Indeed, after a time the idea of giving girls a Torah education, which initially aroused such fierce opposition, became gained traction and became the mainstream track for girls everywhere. Hundreds and thousands of female students were taught the ways of Torah and Mitzvot thanks to the tremendous work of Mrs. Schenirer, and over time opposition and suspicion were transformed to appreciation and admiration for her great project.

[I]t seems that today, religious subjects taught in Bais Yaakov schools focus on rote rather than on serious study, understanding, and deep connection. […] It is no wonder that barely any Charedi girls choose to continue studying Torah independently after graduation

Post-war, the ailment that so demanded the remedy offered by Sarah Schenirer became less threatening, and the thirst for knowledge among Jewish women gave way before the value of raising Jewish families. Concurrently, the passion for teaching Torah in Bais Yaakov schools likewise declined. Though there are certainly exceptions, it seems that today, religious subjects taught in Bais Yaakov schools focus on rote rather than on serious study, understanding, and deep connection. Testimonies of graduates tell us that girls hardly look forward to Torah classes, nor are they much interested in halacha and other areas of Judaism taught at school. It is no wonder that barely any Charedi girls choose to continue studying Torah independently after graduation. As a result, many are the women whose Torah knowledge will remain that of a seminary girl at best, even at a far later stage in life.

It seems the solution offered by Mrs. Schenirer for her generation was right for them. Over time, her work was so successful that there was no longer any need for her own medicine. But generations have changed once again, and we have new challenges on our hands. Does the Bais Yaakov of today indeed provide succor for the ails of our present generation? With great pain, we must answer in the negative. Bais Yaakov graduates cultivate a world of consumerism, fashion, and a passion for secular wisdom (all for a good cause, of course). How can we now remedy our own ailments?


A Need for New Initiatives

As a conclusion thus far, it seems there is a clear need for Charedi women to reconnect to Torah study. The present method of summarizing and memorizing, combined with voluminous time spent in the indoctrination of the Charedi weltanschauung, does not satisfy the needs of the soul or provide our girls with the resolve to handle the challenges they face.

Let us imagine a generation of women who sought out and forged a real connection to Torah study – women whose heart is full of the love of Torah based on an honest, genuine, unmediated connection to the words of God. This would create a cadre of teachers who could then pass on the torch, in such a way that emphasis in schools would gradually change from memorization and indoctrination to connection, independent thinking, and a deeper understanding of the Torah itself. Real educational work in this field would reduce the number of Bais Yaakov girls whose almost exclusive focus is the material world while providing intellectual Torah-related channels for those seeking knowledge.

Alongside reform of the school frameworks of religious studies, it is important to keep the fires burning even in the years after official education has ended. Torah study should not of course marginalize the labor of establishing a home and raising a family. On the contrary: the model I propose seeks to merge material with spirit and bring the world of study closer to the world of practice, through a deep connection to the Torah. Just as young women take professional courses from time to time or even classes on parenting and relationships, so we need to foster a mindset that guides women to consistently and systematically study Bible, agadda, and Jewish thought. In this reality, events of “siyumim” for women will become commonplace. Moreover, women will not be merely passive listeners. We need to establish platforms that allow women access to religious subjects in an unmediated manner, fulfilling the prayer “give us our lot in Your Torah.” Only thus will they feel they have a place and stake in the world of Jewish spirit and content, rather than being pushed into the spheres of the material and the secular.

The overarching goal is to create a new and direct path for women into Torah study. The scope needs to be appropriate to the circumstances of life and the personal desire and tendencies of every woman. At a young age, lessons in school need to lay the foundations for interest and pleasure in the worlds of Jewish content. In the first years of marriage and child-rearing, women ought to have the option of consistent and systematic study, at a slower pace adapted to the intensive tempo of life and the home requirements of these years. And in older ages, as “empty nesters,” the time will come to expand the infrastructure laid in younger years, for deepening study and acquiring significant knowledge in the treasures of Jewish wisdom.

Encouragement of our own ability to learn, calling for teaching and studying, and pushing us to become women of Torah in our own right – all these were entirely absent from the educational ideal on which we were raised

We should not, of course, ignore the importance of the spiritual connection of women to Hashem – a connection not necessarily knowledge-dependent, and which may and should be present at every stage in a woman’s life, even when childcare and the travails of the everyday take away the time and resources for learning. I am aware that for some women, this connection is key. However, this relationship also has a dimension of knowledge and study – a dimension that complements the spiritual, natural, and intuitive connection many feel. In the face of the challenges of the times, this dimension seems to have become vital for many women.

Among the writings of Rav Dessler zt”l is a letter to his daughter, in which he follows his expressions of love and concern with an encouragement of Torah study:

And now, daughter of my life, daughter of my love, be strong in your studies, review your studies and know what you learned, until the day comes that you can study holy books on your own. And when God merits us to be together again, bli neder I will study onward and onward with you in holy studies. […] Know, that there is much before you to learn. […] Try to learn much Rashi from your teachers […] study Nach […] learn plenty […] make yourself regular hours each day to study. […] Believe me, daughter of my soul, for it is clear to me that in this you will succeed not merely spiritually, but also in the material world. […] May you find contentment in the fact you have learned much Torah; it should provide you with comfort and happiness, always.

As students, we never got to read this letter. The education we received focused on the importance of modesty, humility, and devotion to the model of supporting a husband in full-time learning. Encouragement of our own ability to learn, calling for teaching and studying, and pushing us to become women of Torah in our own right – all these were entirely absent from the educational ideal on which we were raised. Is it not proper and even necessary that alongside efforts to inculcate us with modesty and humility, this letter should become a source encouraging spiritual-intellectual growth?

On the question of what to learn, some women will doubtless find their desired connection to Torah in the study of Tanach and aggada. Women should be invited to a serious, systematic, comprehensive, and in-depth study of Torah and commentaries, whether around the Parasha or otherwise, including Nevi’im, halacha, and midrash – rather than the rote learning so common to women’s learning. For other women, it is possible that the connection will come through learning that is yet to break into the world of Charedi women – the study of Gemara and in-depth halacha.

On this point, we cannot ignore the question of halachic permissibility. In the context of teaching Torah to women, the Rambam distinguishes between the Written and Oral Torah, clarifying that Rabbi Elazar’s comparison of Torah study to women to teaching them tiflus has to do with the latter rather than the former. The Rambam’s views were ruled as halacha by the Shulchan Aruch, against the position of the Tur. However, some authorities clarified that the Rambam was referring to the masses, not to women who sincerely intended to learn with their whole heart and who were blessed with abilities allowing them in-depth study. Beruriah, the wife of Rabbi Meir, is an example of a “wise woman” who proved such potential and even learned three hundred daily halachos from one of the Sages. Indeed, in every generation, there were unique individual women who excelled in learning Oral Torah.

Rabbinic leaders of previous generations saw fit to permit and even teach Torah to women as a response to the challenges of the age. The Mishnah Berurah (as quoted above) explicitly ruled that the situation in previous generations was entirely different from that of yesteryear and writes that the call of the hour is to teach women Torah even though this was not done hitherto. This permission was based on an approach seeking to preserve the eternal flame of Torah and its observance by Jewish women, as well as prevent them from drifting away from it.

It seems that in our own generation, this question needs to be brought before the leading Gedolim and Poskim, seeking permission for women to study even the Oral Torah. As noted, “wise women” studied Talmud in the past and received approbation. In our own generation, perhaps we should permit the option of in-depth Gemara study even for women who are not necessarily “wise,” or who have not necessarily proved they “want to learn with all their heart.” It is the call of the hour: should women be exposed to and involved in every field of in-depth study other than Talmud? Such studies can help fill the knowledge void that has opened and help remedy the ailment that so plagues women today.

Moreover, the Rama ruled that “Women must study all the laws related to women.” In other words: Women must learn the Oral Torah for purposes of application and not for the purpose of wisdom. This, of course, is also the area of Torah study that will most interest women, perhaps providing a broad validation of in-depth study that can both connect women to Torah and enhance its performance.


Noble Women

The holiday of Pesach, our freedom from slavery, provides the background for a central halachic issue regarding women: reclining at the seder night.

In previous generations, women were considered, in all existing cultures, to be inferior, the property of men. This is why the Torah exempted women from the Mitzvah of reclining at Seder Night; reclining is for the free, those who can voice their opinion. Only a “noblewoman,” a member of royalty or aristocracy, was included in the instruction to recline. Over time, and alongside the rising status of women, Poskim sought to anchor the word of God in the emerging reality on the ground. At this historical-cultural crossroads, the Mordechai and the Rama stated that “All our women are noble, and need to recline.” Surprisingly, but faithfully to the source, this new approach opened the option of women sitting as equals around the table of faith: “they are noble.”

This article has sought to point out far-reaching changes in the status and role of Charedi women in our generation. While women’s role in the past was predominantly in the home and included minimal professional ambition, changes in women’s status have today penetrated the home itself. New challenges demand finding new ways to reconnect the Charedi woman to the Jewish world of thought. This effort cannot succeed without giving Torah and Mitzvos center stage, combined with a clear understanding that change is required in order to conserve. The reality of life requires expanding our existing toolbox; cherished though they may be, old tools are no longer effective in combatting the challenges of our age.

This article calls on Charedi women to seek out internal, deep, and unmediated connection to learning, and so acquire their own lot in the living Torah. But its call cannot be answered without the support of a broader social infrastructure. Just as Sarah Schenirer’s initiative only rose to prominence after it received rabbinic backing, so an effective Torah response today requires a concerted effort on the part of women, Rabbis, and activists. Veyafa sha’a achat kodem.

8 thoughts on ““Noble Women”: Matter and Spirit in the Lives of Charedi Women

  • As a woman in her sixties, an empty nester (Baruch Hashem) for a couple of years now, I am still working two jobs and trying (usually failing) to find much time to spend with my grandchildren, none of whom live near us. I look back on my 40 years of marriage and cannot fathom where I would have found the time to engage in the type of study that the author is referring to. I gave up even going to shiurim long ago because I would simply fall asleep.
    I heartily agree that my connection with Hashem could use some improvement, but for me it’s lack of time and koach that’s the problem, not overinvolvement with materialism, fashion or the social aspects of work (I’ve been doing both of my jobs from home for years).
    I think that each woman has to work out this issue of connection for herself. We don’t need any more guilt trips.

  • While I think that increasing women’s Torah study post secondary-school is an admirable goal, and is indeed necessary (we need an innoculation of Torahdike thoughts to helps us maintain our spiritual selves while in a world so full of marketing and materialism), overlooking the major cause of this trouble not only will make the proposed solution insufficient, it will exhaust women and strain marriages.

    Recommending women to pursue high-level Torah studies WHILE WORKING TO PROVIDE FOR HUSBANDS IN KOLLEL is just adding to the burdens of what women are going through in a manner which runs counter both to our mesorah and to the kesubah itself.

    Men should be supporting their wives. A wife may choose to contribute because they have a profession that pulls at her heart (what we think of as “a calling”) or because she wants to contribute to the family’s ability to pay for wholesome things like Torah learning for her children, but the burden shouldn’t be on us. The kollel system was invented at a time when fewer and fewer people were learning Torah. People thought there would be no Orthodox/Torah/Haredi Jews in 50 years! We have gotten past the necessity of so many of our men going through the system.

    And despite all the (yes, I’m going to use this word) hysteria from men who bemoan that kollel men are cooking and cleaning, most women who are working to support their kollel-attending husbands are still doing more of the cooking and cleaning than their husbands are. Men who take such tasks like those off their wives hands are full of chessed. Why are we looking down on them? And looking down on wives who don’t suffer through the burden of a double-shift–first working outside the home, then working within it–because their husbands stepped up to the plate?

    Better get rid of the situation in the first place.

    Require a bechina for men who stay in learning past a certain age. Make it normal again for men to learn part-time while working for their families’ material needs full-time. Allow women to bear children without feeling like they have to run out as fast as possible back to work. If women want to work–good! If they want to learn Torah–very good! If a man passes the abovementioned bechina because learning full-time is his calling–fantastic. But the pressure comes from the family’s own needs, the husband’s and wife’s individual needs, not society’s demands.

    Expecting women to do “everything” — working to support a family and study Torah — creates a strain on marriages, and it’s a strain on a woman’s physical and emotional ko’ach. If we want to improve the marital and psychological health of our communities–and we know that divorce and depression are problems we have in the Jewish world–we should not be setting up procedures and standards which undermine marriages and minds/souls in the first place.

    • I absolutely agree. In the ketuba men take the responsability to provide the parnasa!!

  • The material world appeals to our emotional center, while Torah study appeals to the intellectual center but does little for our emotions and feelings. I therefore think that the solution of Torah study is not an effective option, and the true solution is to find a deeper attachment to Torah and to Mitzvah performance, which does not come specifically through the study of Talmud. Nachtiler’s response is somewhat in this direction.

    • “Torah study appeals to the intellectual center but does little for our emotions and feelings.”

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. What a horrible statement. Evidently you have been learning a fake Torah. I hope you will find the real one!

  • Chabad Chassidus might be a good example of the essay’s point. As is well known, the Rebbe encouraged women to study and learn, and this is part of the reason that women in Chabad are no less attached to their Jewish mission than men. Perhaps the nature of the study of Chassidus also relates to a person’s purpose in life and can therefore inspire more. At the same time, this of course won’t be a solution for all, and it’s also interesting to note that Chabad women are not necessarily less materialistic than their non-Chabad counterparts.

  • There are a limited number of hours in the day. Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources to unlimited demand

    How about the husband and wife sitting down and mapping out their priorities (joint and several) based on their understanding of the will of God for both of them and their family. Then allocate the time between them and repeat frequently.

  • I would like to see Rav Dessler’s letter in the original. Can you please post the source?

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