Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Just Out of Curiousity...

When God split the sea and the Jews went through, did they have separate lines for men and women?

When the Jews received the Torah from God, were the women on one side of the camp and men on the other*?

Did the women ride in the back of the Annanei HaKavod (the Clouds of Glory)?

Does the Torah ever mention the first names of women, or are they only referred to as "Aishes Avraham" or "Aishes Ya'akov" or "Aishes Moshe?"

The Wolf

* Yes, the men and women did not sleep with each other for three days, but I don't think they actually all moved en masse away from each other.

14 comments:

Ahavah Gayle said...

Nor did they lug four sets of dishes, pots and pans for each household around the wilderness, either.

ProfK said...

Decades back I had a personal shailoh that I needed to ask a Rav about. We were recommended to a Rav who was a specialist in the area I was asking about. When I called to make an appointment I was told that my husband had to come with me. When we were admitted to the Rav's study he turned to my husband and asked "What is the question your wife has?" My husband was flustered as was I. The next question the Rav had was also addressed to my husband and started "When does your wife say this began?" After the fourth "What does your wife say" question I got up, told my husband we were leaving and walked out the door. In retrospect I'm surprised the Rav actually let me be in the room. Last time I checked plain talking was not considered Kol Isha, but then what do I know.

Anonymous said...

It would actually appear as though there was some kind of separation when they crossed Yam Suf from the fact that after Moshe leads the Jews Miriam leads the woman in a "shira L'ashem" (not sure about the kol isha ramifications on that one). So a basic reading of the text would indicate separate lines to cross Yam Suf.

Garnel Ironheart said...

That's no proof. The men could have separated briefly after the crossing or it could have been they sang where they were and that the women then separated out to sing.
Unless you consider the possibility that in fact the women also sang the entire song, not just the first line, but that Miriam led them just as Moshe led the men.

Just goes to show, back then they didn't have Daas Torah. They had the real thing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why you bother to give credence to the nonsensical customs that foolish ribbis have created. These customs have noathing to do with torah or Judaism

-suitepotato- said...

Pretty soon that through a sheet thing is going to be made real if this keeps up.

Ezzie said...

Of course they did. Haven't you ever seen the art they give to kids??

Anonymous said...

Obviously the authors of the Torah were not chareidim.

Child Ish Behavior said...

Yes, yes, and yes. It was all part of the Unwritten Torah that was not written down.

Anonymous said...

Very cute.

When one of my cousins was married, his new father-in-law insisted that it wasn't tznius for his daughter's (the kallah) name to be on the benchers. Instead had my cousins name "V'rayuso." Talk about hedging your bets.

re the men and women singing at the yam suf - is this to be taken as meaning ALL the men and ALL the women? There were by some estimates around three million people. Isn't it more likely that Moshe had a (relativly) small group of men, and Miriam a similar group of women? And remeber that it was common at the time to distinguish between the sexes in religous worship, with most gods/temples having preists or preistesses, but rarely both.

G*3

Mikeinmidwood said...

No its not possible that there was a mechitza; there were 12 different lanes for each shevatim not women, but the walls inbtween were see through, so even if there was a mechitza they could still see.

Ariella said...

I'm going to address the last question. In TaNaCh, many women are not explicitly named, like the wives of the Shvatim, the wife of Manoach (mother of Shimshon), etc. Some of them are identified by name in the Gemara, though. And then there are plenty of women who are named, like all 7 nevios, Serach bat Asher, David's wives, and even Iyov's daughters (his sons are not named). So one can conclude that there is no general rule that women's first names should always be concealed. Personally, I don't like the "rayaso" bit. But I think that it is not really all that different from the traditional way of addressing a couple as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. Personally, I don't like that either. But I know that from the traditional point of view, a woman who marries and takes on her husband's last name is technically Mrs. John Smith, and the modern deviation of calling her Mrs. Mary Smith is a form of name that would have only been applied to widows or possibly divorcees in the earlier part of the last century.
Conclusion: consistency in the matter of women's first names would also demand that wedding invitations no longer open with Mr. and Mrs. John Smith or shows such on the envelopes to guests.

BTW at my wedding I told the emcee I did not want my husband and my entrance to be announced as Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Brown but to use both our first names. I don't recall what he actually said in the end, though.

Anonymous said...

Something that always bothered me: When righteous men in the Torah die, it states "and they were gathered to their people" (which we take as a alluding to the Afterlife). However, the terms doesn't seem to occurr when women die.

Anyone know a reason?

Ariella said...

Actualy very few women's deaths are recorded in TaNaCh. Sarah is the exception in that the Torah clearly identifies that she dies at 127. We do hear directly of Rachel's death when she dies in childbirth, but we don't know how old she was. Chazal say that Miriam, like her brothers, died beneshika, but it is seen as not appropriate to say that for a woman.