Is there a constant mitzvah for women in Judaism such as there is for men(i.e. torah learning)? Thanks!
5Love God. Fear God. Believe in God. Walk in God's ways. (All these are just like men.)– Double AA ♦Oct 30, 2015 at 5:57
Please define "constant". I don't think your example, "torah learning" is sufficient to explain your intent.– DanFOct 30, 2015 at 16:49
I think what I meant is that men have a mitzvah that is easy for them to be constantly involved in. For instance yehoshua 1:8 vehigisa etc. Is there a similar instance for women, being that they do not have the same level of the commandment as men when it comes to learning torah constantly(perhaps doing chesed on a constant basis would be synonymous for women?) That was what I meant by constant, a mitzvah that they should be constantly be involved in?– Modern-YesheevishNov 1, 2015 at 15:35
@mevaqesh While I appreciate the answer, it didn't quite answer what I was looking for. For instance, men spend 24/7 in yeshivos learning torah. Women, however, do not do that. I was more looking for something along these lines, if there is something that women can do that is all life encompassing such as learning torah is for men?– Modern-YesheevishAug 21, 2016 at 4:04
1@Razroo-Chief It should be noted that the phenomenon of men learning in en masse is a relatively recent one. Historically, men would have devoted their lives to God by working scrupulously and honestly, along with all other interpersonal mitsvot, and using free time to perform additional mitsvot, including, but not exclusively Torah learning. Women can do all this as well. Additionally, both men and women can work on self-perfection a fundamental endeavor for everybody.– mevaqeshAug 21, 2016 at 4:13
There are six commandments applicable to males at all times:
- Know there is God.
- Don't believe in other gods.
- Belief in unity of God.
- Love God.
- Fear God.
- Don't be lead astray by your eyes and heart.
These are all equally relevant for females. The last one may apply somewhat differently to females and males. There are many other vitally important commandments that also apply at all times such as emulating God (as noted by @doubleaa).
It must not be forgotten that a vital portion of the commandments pertain to interpersonal relationships.
These ought to guide our behavior constantly, such as the obligation to love one's fellow as oneself.
These apply equally to men and women constantly.
This theme of personal growth is elaborated by R.Isaac ben Moses Arama (15th cent.) who writes in Akedat Yitschak (B'reshit Shaar 9 s.v. ubmidrash) that it is the primary role of women, while their minor secondary role is child rearing:
והנה בשני השמות האלה נתבאר שכבר יש לאשה שני תכליות. האחד מה שיורה עליו שם אשה כי מאיש לוקחה זאת וכמוהו תוכל להבין ולהשכיל בדברי שכל וחסידות כמו שעשו האמהות וכמה צדקניות ונביאות וכאשר יורה פשט פרשת אשת חיל מי ימצא כמו שיבא שער כ"ב ב"ה.
והשני ענין ההולדה והיותה כלי אליה ומוטבעת אל הלידה וגדול הבנים כאשר יורה עליה שם חוה כאשר היא היתה אם כל חי. והנה תהיה האשה כאשר לא תלד לסבה מהסבות מנועה מהתכלית הקטן ההוא אל מציאותה ותשאר להרע או להיטיב כמו האיש אשר לא יוליד כי בהשלים עצמו באותו התכלית המיניי המשותף להם נאמר ואל יאמר הסריס הן אני עץ יבש ונאמר ונתתי להם בביתי ובחומותי יד ושם טוב מבנים ומבנות (ישעיה נ"ו) כי ודאי עקר תולדותיהם של צדיקים מעשים טובים ע"כ חרה אף יעקב ברחל כשאמרה הבה לי בנים כו' (בראשית ל') לגעור בה ולהשכילה בזה הענין הנכבד והוא שהיא אינה מתה לפי התכלית המשותף באשר מנע ממנה פרי בטן כמו שיהיה בו הענין גם כן אם לא יוליד
And now with these two titles, it becomes clear that Woman has two purposes. The first is that which is indicated from the name ishah (lit. woman) "for she was taken from man" (Gen. 2:23), and like Man, she is able to understand and comprehend matters of the intellect and piety, as the matriarchs did, in addition to not few righteous women and prophetesses, and as the chapter of "A woman of valour who can find" (Proverbs 31:10) indicates, as we will God willing discuss in Shaar 22.
And the second is having children and being designed for this and for child rearing as the name Eve (Chavah) indicates, "For she was the mother of all [human] life" (Gen. 3:20). When a woman will be unable to give birth for whatever reason, she will be impeded from that minor purpose, and will be left to do good or bad like a man who is unable to procreate...regarding whom it is written "And neither let the eunuch say: 'Behold, I am a dry tree.'" (Isaiah 56:3) and it said, "Even unto them will I give in My house and within My walls a monument and a memorial better than sons and daughters" (ibid 5). For certainly the primary legacy of the righteous is their good deeds (cf. Rashi Gen. 6:9) therefore Jacob became angry with Rachel when she said "Give me children" (Gen. 30:1), to protest this and to teach her this lofty idea. (Trans. my own).