The Gemora in Kiddushin 30b says

כך הקב"ה אמר להם לישראל בני בראתי יצר הרע ובראתי לו תורה תבלין ואם אתם עוסקים בתורה אין אתם נמסרים בידו

So said Hashem to Israel, "My children, I created the yezter hara and I created for it the Torah as an antidote, and if you busy yourself with Torah you will not be delivered into its hand"

Are there any sources for how this applies to women?

There seem to be a number of possible directions.

  1. Women have other mitzvos - for instance modesty - that serve as the antidote for their yetzer hara
  2. Women have much less of a yezter hara and don't need an antidote.
  3. Women have Torah as an antidote, but their involvement in Torah refers specifically to making sure the male members of their household learn Torah, and it is not their own Torah learning.
  4. Women's own Torah learning serves as an antidote.
  • 1
    Why should you think it is different with women? "Hashem said to Israel, 'my children'..." He didn't say "Boys: ..."
    – larry909
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 12:47
  • 1
    @larry909 If you want to be technical, the Hebrew word is בני , which can also be translated as 'my sons' (sons specifically, not daughters). If you have a source that it's the form of the word that means both male and female children, then that could be a good answer. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 13:55
  • @Salmononius2 But if you look at the context of the words, it doesn't say that hashem spoke to Bnei Yisroel. It says that hashem spoke to Yisroel, which implies "the Jews". I should have highlighted that point in my original comment.
    – larry909
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 13:58
  • I do not fully understand what you are asking. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 18:24

3 Answers 3


Visiting the sick aids one in his battle against the Evil Inclination: Nedarim 40a

Protecting against the evil inclination with Teshuva (repentance) and Gemilut Chasadim (good deeds): Nedarim 32b

Seemingly, women are obligated to do Gemilut Chasadim which doesn't have a fixed time as stated in Pea 1,1,

אלו דברים שאין להם שיעור הפיאה והביכורים והראיון וגמילות חסדים

Kiddushin 29a states a woman is obligated to perform a Mitzva without a fixed time :

וכל מצות עשה שלא הזמן גרמא אחד האנשים ואחד הנשים חייבין

So there is an antidote for a woman to defeat the Yetzer Hara without having to Learn Torah.

  • any reason for the down vote?
    – Moshe
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 1:30
  • I hope you don't object to my emendation just to make your very good post a little more concise, you have my support
    – user15464
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 13:11
  • @user15464 PERFECT!!!
    – Moshe
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 1:25

One approach is suggested by a 'Rabbi Yochanan' quoted in the commentary of the Sefer Marit HaAyin of the Chida on Berachos 17a. The Gemara discusses a special reward reserved for women, and explains how they merit it:

אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב לְרַבִּי חִיָּיא: נָשִׁים בְּמַאי זָכְיָין? בְּאַקְרוֹיֵי בְּנַיְיהוּ לְבֵי כְנִישְׁתָּא, וּבְאַתְנוֹיֵי גַּבְרַיְיהוּ בֵּי רַבָּנַן, וְנָטְרִין לְגַבְרַיְיהוּ עַד דְּאָתוּ מִבֵּי רַבָּנַן.

Rav said to Rabbi Ḥiyya: By what virtue do women merit to receive this reward? Rabbi Ḥiyya answered: They merit this reward for bringing their children to read the Torah in the synagogue, and for sending their husbands to study mishna in the study hall, and for waiting for their husbands until they return from the study hall.

The commentary mentioned above says that this is meant to parallel the Gemara of 'ברא לו תורה תבלין' (the version paraphrased in Bava Basra 16a to answer the question of how one can be punished for succumbing to their evil inclination) to explain what women can do to merit an antidote to fight the evil inclination (so basically, similar to the option 3 mentioned in your question).

Relevant quote from the Sefer:

ויש לחקור לפי זה נשים שפטורות מת"ת א"כ יהיו פטורות מן הדין שאנוסות הן מיצה"ר והרב מהר"ר יונתן ז"ל פירש מאמר זה דהיינו דקאמר הני נשי במאי זכיין ר"ל במה מנצחות היצה"ר על דרך שאמרו בהא זכנהו רבנן כלומר באיזה דבר ינצחו היצה"ר שהם פטורות מת"ת והשיבו באקרויי בנייהו ומנטרן לגברייהו עכ"ד

(Note that the Sefer that quotes this opinion of Rabbi Yochanan immediately proceeds to give a different answer since he felt there was something lacking in it. Personally, I happen to like the answer as-is, and it seems to also be a valid interpretation, so I will leave it here. Although the answer of the Marit HaAyin is also a good one, can be written as another answer to this question)


Based on Bereshit 1:28, Rashi says:

"And subdue it:" It is missing a [letter,] vav (and so could be read as kavshah, which means subdues her); to teach you that the male subdues the female from being unrestrained (i.e. "an outside lady" - a habitual pleasure seeker - see Siftei Chachaimim).

It is a well known Torah principle that getting married helps prevent a man from sinning, but it also works the other way around. Getting married to a man, who is able to exert a stabilising "conquering" influence on her unrestrained desires, as she moves into his home and becomes an eishet chayil to him, a bayit, a mother - this is what helps her get over her yeitzer hara.

As Daat Zekenim says:

And conquer it: [Using the variant spelling that is] missing [the letter] vav, to teach you that it is the way of the man to 'conquer' the female; so that she not be unbridled, to cause a stumbling block for sexual impropriety, as did Leah, when she accustomed her daughter [to be unbridled] and created a stumbling block [for her]. And any [woman] who secludes herself in her home is fitting to marry the High Priest, as it is stated (Psalms 45:14), "All the honor of the king's daughter indoors, [is more than gold checkered clothing] etc," which means to say, that she will marry someone, about whom it is written (Exodus 28:39), "and you shall make checkered [...]." And she is fitting to have High Priests come from her, as it is stated (Psalms 128:3), "your sons will be like olive plantings;" meaning that they will be anointed with olive oil.

(all translations copied directly from sefaria)

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