Most mussar sefarim are very oriented towards men, with lessons on things such as how to treat your wife, the dangers of pursuing women, or the importance of learning. Also, many sefarim I've seen written for women are very generic and watered down hashkafa sefarim, lacking originality or deep insight. What is a good, intelligent, well-written mussar sefer with female perspective?

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    AFAICT ibn Pequda's Chovot HalLevavot isn't genderized, but, although it's sold in the "mussar" section of bookstores, it's more of a philosophical work IMO. Mar 25 '12 at 15:06
  • tziporahheller.com Rebbetzen Heller has online classes in Chovot HaLevavot and has written several english language books that might interest you. Mar 25 '12 at 15:50
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    – Double AA
    Mar 27 '12 at 17:34
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    @DoubleAA I don't disagree, but that's hardly written from a female perspective ;) Mar 30 '12 at 3:43
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    @DoubleAA , I never said women anything about whether women could/should learn Gemara, I said it's not written from a female perspective. Apr 1 '12 at 15:04

My wife speaks extremely highly of Chochmat Nashim by R' Shalom Arush shlita, which is translated in to English by R' Lazer Brody shlita. It focuses on marriage and married life, but covers the full spectrum of a woman's role and responsibilities.

  • The book is called "Women's Wisdom" in English. I came here to recommend the sefer because I have heard from several ladies that it is good, but you already put it here...a long time ago.
    – ezra
    Jan 30 '17 at 23:10

For English readers there is one from Rabbi Shimshon Pincus who wrote a Mussar Sefer for woman called Nefesh Chaya.

For Hebrew readers there is a Sefer Chukei HaNoshim written by the Ben Ish Chai which is a Mussar Sefer geared specifically to women.

For Yiddish readers there is a Sefer Mainekes Rivka which was written by Rivka Tiktiner in in the late 16th century. This is available by contacting eliezerbrodt@gmail.com


Chovos Halevavos. There's a new digital translation in the making, available online at http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=384

  • judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/15360/… et seq.
    – Double AA
    Aug 19 '12 at 22:12
  • ray, thanks for the suggestion, and welcome to Mi Yodeya. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features.
    – msh210
    Aug 20 '12 at 6:07
  • (An anonymous user suggested seeing shaar bitachon there. I have not seen it inside, so I can't vouch for it, and with no other information provided I'm deleting it from the answer and moving it to a comment.)
    – Seth J
    Aug 30 '12 at 13:37
  • it looks good to me (shaar bitachon). also has some excerpts from the classic commentators on the book
    – ray
    Jan 25 '13 at 6:00

Outside of the Ashkenazi world, Chakham Yosef Chayyim (the Ben Ish Chai) wrote a beautiful personal growth manual for women, and one that is often studied by men as well. He wrote it in Judeo-Arabic, and called it Qânûn-un-Nisâ'. It has since been translated into Hebrew, as חוקי הנשים, and into English, as Laws For Women. The English translation has been done by Rabbi Moshe Schapiro.

  • IMHO, this should be folded into the answer above.
    – Lee
    Nov 30 '15 at 9:56

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