Title: Authority over wife's spiritual life???
elisheva - March 18, 2012 04:45 AM (GMT)
So I'm still reading Inner Torah
and I *do* like it so far and think it will be valuable. In fact, I was telling my MIL about it and SHE was even interested (not Jewish, currently a follower of a cult-like New Age thingy) so I was anxious to finish it and loan it to her UNTIL I saw this [cue screeching brakes here]: p. 114 "While Torah recognizes that men are to have a certain amount of authority in their wives' spiritual lives
, it by no means assumes imposition of the man's soul needs, which may be significantly greater or less than his wife's, on the woman."
The bolded is what has me in a tizzy. I included the rest for context.
My reaction (do I really need to type this out??): :yikes SAY WHAT?!?!?!?! No way. Uh-uh. There's no other human involved in my spiritual life. Just me and Hashem.:headscratch
Someone please tell me that this is just a very poorly worded statement on the author's part and she's just referencing that it's customary to follow the husband's family's minhagim or something...I'm gonna have to write "DISAGREE" in the margin, I think, lest my MIL be totally turned off and go back to her cult....
emunahbutterfly - March 18, 2012 07:41 PM (GMT)
i don't know, maybe where you live its different but among ppl i know you usually do what your husband wants in terms of which psak to follow etc... it is just simpler that way. i mean if i really disagreed with him about something i'd tell him but, dh's good friend just became a chabadnic b/c he married one who is so there are situations where it goes the opposite way too. i don't think she means a man tells his wife what to daven for, that is avodat ha-lev. but things that are related to hashkafa are usually the husbands domain (although obviously ppl usually marry someone who they agree with on stuff so it shouldn't be too much of a problem).
Yehudis - March 19, 2012 04:37 AM (GMT)
I just looked this up. I think it means practical things, like halacha, which halachic views to follow, minhagim, etc. That's what the examples right before this paragraph show -- those women either took on too much or gave up on something that was important for their neshamos.
It specifically says that a woman's personal relationship with Hashem is hers alone.
elisheva - March 19, 2012 04:40 AM (GMT)
Thanks, Yehudis. I PM'd you about Inner Torah in general - did it go through? I typed in your screen name so I wasn't sure it actually associated it with your acct for some reason as the message didn't appear in my sent mail...
LearningFromExperience - March 19, 2012 01:45 PM (GMT)
Perhaps "authority" was a poor choice of words to have used
The only time there is indeed a man's "authority" over his wife in Halacha is in the area of Nedarim, and only when it affects him directly. This is not an area that is of practical relevance in our days, as people are warned against taking on Nedarim in the first place, so I'm not sure why anyone would bring it up.
I would take issue even with a statement that things related to Hashkafa are in the husband's domain. I see no evidence in that direction, if anything, it's the opposite. (I'm thinking now of the story in the Gemara where a couple divorced and each married someone on a lesser spiritual level, and the woman's husband grew stronger while the man's wife dragged him down)
Sure, minhagim go by the husband, for the most part, but that is just to keep things organized. It's not necessary to assign that choice any particular meaning beyond that.
Zephyr - March 19, 2012 02:40 PM (GMT)
OTOH, I was once at a sheva brachot hosted by the dh's rosh yeshiva where the divrei Torah focused around "the man represents the ruchniyus and the woman represents the gashmiyus". At the end of the night I went home and read my ketuba because a lot of the claims made that night in the guise of divrei Torah had a lot more to do with their unique socio-economic needs than with normative Judaism.
Also, chabad has the belief that the woman receives spirituality from/through her dh. You'll have to speak to an actual chabadnik about that, though-- it's some kabbalistic thing.
In other words, for various reasons, this sort of thing does pop up here and there. And there's plenty of room to disagree.
As I recall, though, your MIL isn't Jewish-- perhaps a copy of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People might be a better choice? I love that book-- especially the family one. And it's neutral in as much as religious beliefs go.
ETA: I think that smiley needs to become part of our collection. PM me the link, please!
elisheva - March 19, 2012 03:39 PM (GMT)
Ok, I'll make notes in the margins. My MIL is a therapist and has been into New Age/Eastern religion stuff for YEARS so I think Covey would be a little tame for her ;) I had just been telling her about it because I found a lot of what I read in Inner Torah to overlap with a lot of Eastern philosophy stuff. She asked to borrow it when I'm done. Much of the first part of the book could really be representative of any religion - it's not till the last chapter or so that she really gets specific about relating it to Torah. In any case, better this than she gives more $$ to the charlatan she's been following. :)
I'll PM you the link, Zeph :thumbsup
for my kids: :banghead :lurk :dancingbanana
Zephyr - March 19, 2012 05:53 PM (GMT)
Judaism is an Eastern religion.
We got transplanted to the West with all their meshugas, but we are an Eastern religion. That should explain much of the overlap.
Thanks for the PM, I'll open it in a minute!
Zephyr - March 19, 2012 10:02 PM (GMT)
:panic is now in our stable of emoticons.
You can see him to the left, running as though his head is on fire.
Now back to our discussion...
elisheva - March 19, 2012 10:06 PM (GMT)
I love Head-On-Fire guy!!!
elisheva - March 19, 2012 10:21 PM (GMT)
:panic :panic :panic :panic :panic :panic :panic :panic