igres moshe 4.49

כי סתם נשים בעולם אינם עשירות ועליהן מוטל גידול הילדים והילדות

translation from link

the average woman is not wealthy and has responsibility to raise sons and daughters.


shulchan aruch harav 343.4

ד אבל אמו אין מצווה עליו כלל בין במצות עשה בין בלא תעשה

my translation

But the mother is not commanded (to educate her son) at all not positive commandment and not negative

1) what (specifically) is the responsibility to raise sons and daughters (how is it fulfilled by the letter of the law? and above the letter of the law)? (since from shulchan aruch harav above it seems that it is not chinuch)

2) what are earlier (original) sources that they have this responsibility?


First of all, all mitzvos chinuch aside, a person in a position of authority to correct others will still have a mitzvah of tochacha. A mother and wife definitely qualify. Reb Chanania ben Tradyon's wife will prove that.

This would be an answer to your basic question. But I think the Igros Mosheh is making a different point. He is not discussing their halachic requirement to educate children, he is discussing the nature of all females, rich and poor, human and animal, to raise children. He points to the fact that most women are not rich and couldn't afford child care while they occupy their time with mitzvos. This he says is a reason why the chachamim throughout the generations never instituted for women to do mitzvos asei on a dirabanan level at the least.

  • Their is no halichik obligation for her to raise children except toichocho? Where can I find the story of Reb Chanina Ben Tradyon's wife? – hazoriz Jan 4 '15 at 0:44
  • I didn't mean raise children. I meant educate, as you properly differentiated in your question. I'll fix that. The siman in Shulchan aruch harav you mention is where all the achronim say they have no mitzvah of chinuch/educating. Could be mishna berurah brings one dissenting view. I can check when i get home. But the standard is the opinion that they do not. – user6591 Jan 4 '15 at 1:14
  • The gemara with chananya ben tradyon is avoda zara bottom of 17b-18a. That just proves that a woman who can be mochiach must be. Not as far as a mother specifically goes. There it was his wife. My point was to preempt the fact that they don't have arvus, but they still can have be mochiach. – user6591 Jan 4 '15 at 1:57
  • Yeah so the mishna berurah quotes the machatzis hashekel as saying the mother also has mitzvahs chinuch. Its a very long piece and i don't remember exactly what he says and I'm not going to go through it now but i did have a line there underlined in my shulchan aruch where he says the mother has some mitzvah for being mechanech her child just like arvus to get someone to do a mitzvah. This might be taken totally out of context so if this idea interests you, see there. – user6591 Jan 4 '15 at 3:02
  • I was thinking that a mother may have an obligation to be an extension of the father if he is not doing his job properly. So you can say that she is not obligated in chinuch, but she is a shliach of the father (perhaps this would apply even after divorce). There is also 'loving your fellow,' וחי אחיך עמך, and לא תעמד על דם רעך. Ultimately, I believe it is a svarah, like derech eretz and tikkun hammidot are, but these may be sources for it. – Emet v'Shalom Dec 22 '15 at 22:17

2) what are earlier (original) sources that they have this responsibility?

See Rashi on the first Daf of Chagiga who says:

אי זהו קטן כו'. אבל מכאן ואילך אף על פי שאינו חייב מן התורה הטילו חכמים על אביו ועל אמו לחנכו במצות: ‏

"Even though the child has no Torah obligation [in Aliya l'Regel], the Chachamim obligated his father and his mother to educate him ni Mitzva observance.

So we have a Rishon who seems to say that women have an obligation in Chinuch.

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