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A father has an obligation to teach his sons Torah, a parnassah and to swim. To what extent do these obligations extend to his daughters too?

(edited to include my explanation from the comments)
As Ariel mentions in his answer, Gemara Kiddushin 29-30 discusses the 6 obligations a father has to his sons.

1 Bris, 2 Redeem the firstborn, 3 Teach him Torah, 4 find a wife for him, 5 teach him a parnassah, 6 (some say) to teach him to swim

1 and 2 necessarily apply only to sons not daughters. We learn from a pasuk that 3 applies only to sons not daughters. 4 applies to both sons and daughters (although in different ways). 6 is learned from the logic that his life may depend upon it, given that I don't see any reasonable way you could say that this shouldn't apply just as much to daughters as to sons. You can't really say that maybe at some future time your son might drown if he doesn't know how to swim, but if your daughter drowns that's OK.

The real question seems to me to be by Parnassah. The Gemara doesn't make clear whether or not this applies to daughters as well as sons.

The Gemara brings two reasons. In the first Chizkiyah shows a Pasuk that compares livelihood to getting married. So just as a Father has an obligation to see his son married, so to does he have an obligation to teach him a Parnassah. This would imply that this would apply to daughters too, since the Pasuk on marrying off your children explicitly includes daughters.

The second reason the Gemara gives for the requirement to teach your son a Parnassah is to compare it to the obligation to teach Torah. This would imply that the obligation would only extend to sons and not to daughters since the pasuk for teaching Torah excludes daughters.

Based only on my own reasoning, I would think that this obligation would mean that you should teach your children what they need to know to survive in the society that they are in. If they live in a society where women normally cook and sew and such then you should make sure that they learn this. If they live in a society where the wife will be expected to earn a living with a job outside the home then I would think that Rabbi Yehudah's rule that not teaching a trade is teaching to be a thief would apply. I want to make clear that I have no source for this.

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Hello follick! Can you provide a source for the set of 3 obligations you reference in your first line? –  WAF Sep 5 '11 at 14:06
    
As Ariel mentions in his answer, Gemara Kiddushin 29-30 discusses the 6 obligations a father has to his sons. 1 Bris, 2 Redeem the firstborn, 3 Teach him Torah, 4 find a wife for him, 5 teach him a parnassah, 6 (some say) to teach him to swim –  follick Sep 5 '11 at 16:26
    
1 and 2 necessarily apply only to sons not daughters. We learn from a pasuk that 3 applies only to sons not daughters. 4 applies to both sons and daughters (although in different ways). 6 is learned from the logic that his life may depend upon it, given that I don't see any reasonable way you could say that this shouldn't apply just as much to daughters as to sons. You can't really say that maybe at some future time your son might drown if he doesn't know how to swim, but if your daughter drowns that's OK. –  follick Sep 5 '11 at 16:34
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This would be useful information to include in the question. The g'mara there goes to some length to specify the gender of the people under this and other neighboring obligations, and the multiplicity of opinions on "parnassah" (not the g'mara's word) and swimming, from which some inferences can be drawn that help clarify the parameters of the question. Please refer to and link this relevant information. –  WAF Sep 5 '11 at 16:37
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Now we're talking. That is a good question (in my opinion). –  WAF Sep 5 '11 at 16:45

2 Answers 2

There are 6 Mitzvos on the father to teach his son and they are discussed in Meseches Kiddushin (29-30).The mitzvah to teach one's son Torah is a Biblical command, but it only applies to sons (the passuk says "b'neichem"). The mitzvah to teach a parnassah seems to be a rabbinic command, and also only applies to sons. In the past, the men earned a living while the women normally stayed at home. So it was not necessary for a woman to earn a living, since she would be supported by her husband. There's a machlokes if there's a mitzvha to teach one's son to swim. I would assume that it would also only apply to sons, just like the other mitzvos there. Probably they were more likely to be near water, e.g. if they went on a business trip.

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Can you offer a citation to a source that says that the first two obligations don't apply to daughters? –  msh210 Sep 5 '11 at 15:20
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The gemara in Kiddushin says it about Torah; I added in the passuk it quotes. I think its clear in the gemara that all the mitzvos are for the father to the son, but earning a livelihood wasn't the woman's responsibility. –  Ariel K Sep 5 '11 at 18:08
    
Actually, as I said above, the Gemara and the Pasuk make it clear that the obligation to marry off your children applies to both sons and daughters. The obligation to teach a Parnassah is learned out from a Passuk comparing it to the obligation to marry off your children. It is not at all clear to me that this should apply only to sons. –  follick Sep 11 '11 at 15:43
    
I doubt they made conditions in the mitzvos that would kick in if circumstances changed in the future. It is also debatable if it essential for the woman to earn a livelihood even nowadays, though I guess that depends if her husband is in kollel.. –  Ariel K Sep 11 '11 at 17:28
    
I'm not sure what you're say about women not earning a living in the past is accurate. We know for instance from the Cairo geniza that it was common for women to be employed in order to support themselves and their children while their husbands were travelling on business as these trips could last months or years. –  Robert S. Barnes Nov 24 '13 at 8:19

The posak says- כל־כבודה בת־מלך פנימה woman need to stay home not going to work. Thelim

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Ezi, welcome to the site; I hope you stick around and enjoy. Thanks for your view; if you provide a source for the application of this pasuk to the concept that a woman should stay home, or to the concept that she should not work, it will lend support to and thereby improve your answer. –  msh210 Sep 11 '11 at 21:26
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A woman is not required to stay at home. Neither is she prohibited from working. There are examples in the Gemara of women engaging in commerce. –  follick Sep 16 '11 at 20:32
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@follick - Also, the last chapter of Mishlei (Proverbs) discusses how the ideal woman weaves garments and then sells her goods. Please don't forget that the Tanakh came before the Gemara. –  Adam Mosheh Feb 12 '12 at 14:26
    
Why can't she work from home? –  Double AA Jul 25 '13 at 7:04

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