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The unique role of the Jewish woman is described in terms of three archetypical mitzvahs—Shabbat candles, family purity and kosher. How do traditional ideas of Jewish femininity compare to modern feminist ideas about the role of women in society?

What Is a Woman’s Role in Judaism?

What Is a Woman’s Role in Judaism?

Special mitzvahs of Jewish women and what they mean to us

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Mrs. Bronya Shaffer is a noted globetrotting lecturer on Jewish women's issues, and serves as a personal counselor and mentor for women, couples and adolescents. Mrs. Shaffer, a responder for Chabad.org’s Ask the Rabbi service, lives with her ten children in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Avigayil Chana Stoughton, MA December 7, 2016

This is a very important video. Thank you, Mrs. S! Reply

Gerard Ezinwoke Toronto September 24, 2016

Mrs Shaffer,

I can't fully express how inspired your video has made me but I really do appreciate it, as a man looking to get married your video has inspired me to live a more holy life, continue to have Emuna in Hashem and grow in my love for Hashem, Jewish people and Israel...

May your days continue to be fruitful.

Reply

Bracha Meshchaninov New Hempstead October 21, 2015

loved listening to you Bronya, wonderful talk!! Reply

Diane Fertig Eugene, Oregon August 22, 2015

Thanks so much for sharing this awesome history and truths. You are so smart, funny and delightful! I wish I still lived in Brooklyn, would love to speak with you. I'm 60 so I remember much of the 70s and learning about my Jewish roots. Be well and happy! Looking forward to learning more about you and our faith. Reply

Alicia Madrid August 18, 2015

Dear "nontraditional" friend,

I am glad that you tell your story because mine is similar. I feel like a Jew and my behavior and studies are according since years ago but I have not taken the Mikve yet. I have not been blessed yet in generosity to have a child or a husband, but every day I keep alive my hope of being a wife and a mother and I am working on that. I will raise them as Jews. The wife of Abraham, Sarah, was a mother at very late age. Reply

artisanrox August 16, 2015

and I love how this really speaks to me despite being very "nontraditional"...I'm childfree and single (and sorta kinda not Jewish either, but have been learning Jewish for a long time) and even all that and in my late 30's, I loved this teaching. Thank you for making something relevant to women like me because it doesn't revolve totally around reproduction and marriage! Reply

louise leon PA, USA August 10, 2015


A lovely video.
Since Israeli women are required to serve in the IDF, It seems timely to consider the importance of the woman's role in protecting Eretz Yisrael as do male soldiers.
Chanah Senesh has always been my inspiration for her heroism and fearlessness as a female paratrooper decades ago. Reply

Anonymous Amsterdam, The Netherlands August 10, 2015

Dear Mrs. Shaffer,
Thank you so much ! Very, very nice and easy to follow and understandable . Reply

Lisa Aubert Long Beach, CA August 7, 2015

Thank you so much for this valuable lecture. I have a question regarding the women's cycle being a confirmation of life. What does it mean spiritually for a woman to have extremely severe painful cramps during these cycles throughout her entire lifespan especially if she never been pregnant? Reply

Cala South Africa August 7, 2015

How beautiful....this touch my heart so deeply... Oh that all the women in the world may hear this message!
Thank you for this video! Reply

Alicia Madrid August 4, 2015

Such a beautiful speech for a cultivated mother and woman. Definitively after her talk once realized how holily could be living consciousness as Jew. She lighted candles all around and that is certainly clarity to avoid rocks and trees... Thanks Reply

Anonymous merion Station August 3, 2015

Mrs. Shaffer,
You are an inspiration and the ultimate role model of the jewish woman. Thank you for being there!!! May Hashm bless you with all of the brachot! Reply

Anonymous July 29, 2015

I greatly appreciated this lecture; Mrs. Shaffer. It was very inspiring and insightful. Thank you so much! :) Reply

JDV April 7, 2015

You are a smart lady. Are you still in Brooklyn? I would like to meet you. Reply

Anonymous Berlin May 19, 2013

Thank you very much for your talk. Very clear and touching. Reply

Rachael Medellin Dunker Hitchcock, Tx. July 11, 2012

I so thank you, I better understand what I am supposed to be doing. I will do the things I must do. This has really help me so much. Thank you again Reply

Robbie brooklyn, ny May 8, 2012

I enjoyed watching/ hearing this. I liked your examples and stories that made a topic I have heard a million times so much more interesting. and I liked the new points I have never heard and the relevance to todays modern women.
what about a woman who is not married? What is her role? Reply

Amanda Ocean City,, NJ May 3, 2012

Dear Bronya, Thank you for clarifying the women's role in Judaism, and it is just what I needed! Reply

Sabrina Maryland May 1, 2012

This was a really wonderful shiur! I listened to it two times in a row and will probably listen to it more. I learned alot and felt very inspired. Reply

Sharon Israel April 29, 2012

bs"d

Mrs. Shaffer,
Thank you very much for this video,
the clarification has been helpful. Reply