We know that many woman were Prophets, Judges, & Warriors, all qualities necessary to rule, so why did the Rambam determine that a girl cannot become a King or Moshiach? What’s the logic behind his decision & do any Rishonim or Achronim dispute this?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Can Moshiach be a woman? – DonielF Sep 26 '19 at 0:08
  • As you see it's not Rambam but much earlier, you might want to edit the title into "why do we Pasken" or why women can't be a king?" – Al Berko Sep 26 '19 at 10:45
  • @DonielF Other question asks "Is there any statement by chazal or the poskim." This question assumes there is a a statement in Rambam and asks why – b a Dec 10 '19 at 16:18
  • @ba Then maybe it should be a dupe the other way? – DonielF Dec 10 '19 at 16:19
  • @DonielF No, because the other question can be validly answered (as it is) by quoting the Rambam, and this question can't – b a Dec 10 '19 at 16:22

This was stated by the Sages in Sifrei #157 as part of their exposition of Deuteronomy 17:15:

שום תשים מת מנה אחר תחתיו מלך ולא מלכה

"You shall place" – if he dies, appoint another in his stead. "A king" – but not a queen.

Indeed, when Rambam codifies the law in Hilchot Melachim 1:5, the major commentaries (Migdal Oz, Kessef Mishneh, Radvaz) point to the Sifrei as the source. In his commentary there, Radvaz even addresses your question:

וא"ת הא כתיב ודבורה אשה נביאה היא שופטה את ישראל לא קשיא שהיתה מלמדת להם המשפטים א"נ ע"פ הדבור היה

And if you'll ask that Scripture states that "Devorah the prophetess judged Israel", this is not difficult – she was [only] teaching them the laws, or alternatively it was [an exception] based on a Divine command.

(Cf. Tosafot Bava Kamma 15a s.v. "Asher")

  • Again, you brought The source but all it says - we don't know, it's גזירת הכתוב. I thought the question was why, what's the underlying reason to discriminate women? – Al Berko Sep 26 '19 at 10:44
  • It’s not “we don’t know”, it’s “Rambam got it from the Midrash” The Midrash in turn used an apparently standard form of Scriptural derivation, wherein מלך implies a limitation of ולא מלכה just like בניכם implies ולא בנותיכם. – Alex Sep 26 '19 at 11:56
  • Let me put it differently, "reason" means a logical design of a system that leads to a result. Saying "my name is Al because my folks called me so" is not the reason and does not answer the question "why am I called Al". IMHO. – Al Berko Sep 26 '19 at 12:04
  • What the Midrash says is "how it was ruled", just as "HOW I was called Al", not "why". – Al Berko Sep 26 '19 at 12:05
  • @AlBerko That’s why it’s important to be precise when formulating a question. If you ask why people call you Al, the answer will indeed be that that’s what your accepted name is. If you want to know why your parents decided to name you Al, you have to specify that. – Alex Sep 26 '19 at 12:12

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