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The Yerushalmi Pesachim 1:4, as understood by most Rishonim and brought in Halacha, says that women are lazy (and therefore would have been less trustworthy to properly perform the check for Chometz).

Was that something that was true at the time, or is that a blanket statement about the nature of women?

Are there any explanations that understand this to be universally true but somehow have a deeper or more metaphysical meaning (despite its application in halacha)?

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    I once heard from an Adom Gadol that "atzlanius" doesnt mean lazy in this context, rather it means that woman are not detailed oriented, meaning they wouldn't push themselves to such an extent to check every corner in the house which has the din of makom shemachnisim bo chometz. – Shoel U'Meishiv Sep 9 '14 at 6:49
  • @Nafkamina If you could provide some source, that is exactly the kind of answer I am looking for (I happened to be aware of the Aruch HaShulchan when I asked and was wondering if there is this type of alternative). – Y     e     z Sep 9 '14 at 17:37
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    @YEZ The AH can apply to that definition too. – Double AA Sep 9 '14 at 17:54
  • @DoubleAA True, but IIRC he is working with the "standard" understanding. – Y     e     z Sep 9 '14 at 18:02
  • @YEZ why are you under the assumption that lazy means doing nothing and that it is a chidush to say lazy means not putting in all of ones efforts? – user6591 Sep 9 '14 at 19:16
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The Aruch Hashulchan in siman 437 siff 7 writes that nowadays women are bodek even better than men and dig after a miniscule amount of chametz and wash and clean every place.

Another point is to define what chazzal meant by women are atzlanios by citing one of the medrashim that uses the same terminology. See in Devarim Rabba Parsha 6 (#11) that prooves women are atzlanios from Sarah whom Avraham told her to hurry and bring bread of fine flour. The Matnas Kehuna explains that the proof was that he had to say 'hurry'.

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The ר״ן in פסחים on 30b says that we only say that women are lazy if there is no definite איסור, but if there is definitely an איסור (for instance, the removal of גיד הנשה) they are believed.

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