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The Gender Gap

The Gender Gap

Are Women More Spiritual?

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Question

I have often heard that Judaism sees women as more spiritual than men. This is supposed to explain why men have more religious obligations than women—men need these things to become closer to G‑d, women are there already. But do we reallyIs it not just a patronizing way to avoid the issue? believe that? Is it not just a patronizing way to avoid the issue of the different gender roles in Judaism?

Answer

I remember as a child being told that men and women are equal. I had a big problem with it. I asked, "If men and woman are equal, why do men and women never compete with each other in sports? You never see a man playing against a woman in tennis, or women's soccer teams facing men's, or a mixed-gender 100-meter sprint. If we are all equal, why can't we compete together?"

The answer I received was unsatisfying: "Men are on average stronger physically than women. It would not be fair for them to compete against each other in sports which require bodily strength, because men would always win. But in every other way, men and women are equal."

This did not sit well with me. If men are superior to women in physical strength, but equal in all else, then men and women are not equal. Men have an edge. Unless there is some other area of human endeavour in which women are superior, we are not equal.

This bothered me for years. Until I discovered Judaism's attitude to women.

Women are more soulful than men. While men may excel in physical prowess, women are far ahead when it comes to spiritual strength. Women are more sensitive to matters of the soul, more receptive to ideas of faith, more drawn to the divine than men. The feminine soul has an openness to the abstract and a grasp of the intangible that a male soul can only yearn for. This is why G‑d told Abraham, the first Jewish man, "Whatever Sarah your wife tells you, listen to herMen have stronger bodies, women have stronger souls voice." She was the greater prophet, her soul more intuitive than his.

When I first heard this idea, it suddenly all made sense. There is indeed a balance between men and women. Men have stronger bodies, women have stronger souls.

Of course there are exceptions. Some women could beat any guy in an arm wrestle. And some men are more spiritually attuned than the women around them. But for the most part, men have bigger muscles, women have deeper feelings.

The Torah gives men more physical mitzvahs to tame the body and give the soul extra power. Women don't need this help, because although men can jump higher in the air, women can reach higher into the heavens.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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mhikl Calgary, Canada December 24, 2015

Men the spiritual, women grand organisers 1 Why were religions of the old world & those found in the new world (1500s+), originated by a man & male dominated?
2 Why do men ‘blank’ out—have moments, often long moments when their minds are not busy, are singularly focused, on nothing? It seems a form of naturally inherent meditation.
3 Why are women’s minds always busy? Thinking, planing, evaluating? Rarely any natural ‘blank moments? Women often find the 'blank' male mind time curious.
—There are exceptions, especially when women practice meditation.
I am truly not saying this in any disparaging way.
Women are more consistent in completing tasks & more social.
Men can be social, especially in games, sports & men's clubs, which most often include rituals, hierarchy and rules.
A mountainous South American tribe, in long distance running, the purpose of which is not time but distance, it is the women who stay the course the longest and gain the greatest distance.
We are a curious species.
Namaste and care,
mhikl Reply

Achil August 23, 2017
in response to mhikl:

It's not that simple It occurs to me you are very drawn to the old traditional way of "judging" women as beings that can never reach a high level of spirituality.
I don't believe this is true in any way. I experience it in everyday life how my wife is able to connect with the spiritual in such a natural and easy way that I can't even come to understand how she does this. It almost seems as if spirituality is flowing through her entire body. It's uncredibly beautiful.
So while we have this "form of naturally inherent meditation" according to you, my wife does really not even need this.
According to modern scientists the denial of women as spiritual beings was made up by men that were distracted by women and thus strived from their spiritual path. Because of that and since we always were naturally stronger than women we just had the power to cast them out and put them down. That, I believe, is the ugly truth.

Take care,
Achil

(Sorry for any spelling mistakes, I am not a native speaker) Reply

Ana FL March 12, 2015

My husband and I have been discussing this very idea of men being stronger physically but women being more easily drawn to the spiritual for years. He likes to say that G_d listens to me more often because He likes me better. This definitely explains some of my husband's ideas to me. Reply

Anonymous June 23, 2014

To LILO: Could you go back and re-read what is written. Shalom Reply

LILO May 21, 2014

If women more in spirit why God choose his messengers as a men? Reply

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