Tuesday, April 16, 2019

shalom bayis - wife's first obligation is respect of her husband - not her parents or children

because Pesach is a high strain times on family
I was just asked who takes precedence a wife's parents or husband?
I hope this clear statement of Rav Moshe will promote shalom bayis and simcas hahag


Igros Moshe (O.C. 1:158): A woman after she is married is generally considered as one who has entered the domain of her husband. That is because her place is to be with her husband according to the Torah. In fact the essence of marriage is that she is given to her husband to be in his house as is stated in Kesubos (48). It is because the law of marriage is that she is to be in the house of her husband – and this is the Torah law. We see the consequence of this in Kiddushin (30b) where it says that a woman does not have the means of filling the mitzva of honoring her father and her mother because she is in the domain of others. This seems to rather astounding because the obligation of the woman to do work for her husband is only a rabbinic decree. So how can this inability to honor her parents resulting from a rabbinic decree to work for him - be ascertained from the fact that a Torah verse emphasizes that a man has the obligation to fear his parents? ... Therefore it is necessary to say that since that even though according to the Torah there is no subservience for work on the woman nevertheless there is the law that it is encumbent on the woman to be with her husband because this is the essence of marriage. Consequently she does not have the option to go to be with her father to feed him, to give him drink and to do all the activities related to honoring him. And this that Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 240:17) writes that a woman doesn’t have the means to honor parents because she is subservient to her husband – it needs to be understood that it is not describing subservience for work. That is because on the Torah level she is exempt. Rather it means that she is subservient to her husband in that she is required to be in his house. And that is how it is expresssed in the Torah. For example, Bamidbar (30:11),“If she makes an oath in her husband’s house” or concerning divorce, Devarim(24:1), “And she is sent from his house” and concerning bikkurim Gittin (47b) learns that the husband brings the bikkurim of his wife since Devarim (26:11) says, “and your house” which includes your wife. All of this shows that the wife must be in the husband’s house.


Kiddushin(30b) BUT ALL OBLIGATIONS OF THE FATHER UPON THE SON etc., What is meant by ‘ALL OBLIGATIONS OF THE FATHER UPON THE SON? Shall we say, all precepts which the father is bound to perform for his son — are then women bound thereby? But it was taught: ‘The father is obliged in respect of his son, to circumcise and redeem him’: only the father, but not the mother? — Said Rab Judah, This is its meaning: All precepts concerning a father, which are incumbent upon a son to perform for his father, both men and women are bound thereby. We have [thus] learnt here what our Rabbis taught: [Ye shall fear every man his father, and his mother]:32 ‘man,’I know it only of man; how do I know it of woman?33 When it is said: ‘Ye shall fear,’ two are mentioned. If so, why state man? A man possesses the means to fulfil this, but a woman has no means of fulfilling this, because she is under the authority of others.[(34) Viz., her husband, who may render it impossible for her to shew due reverence to her parents.]34 R. Idi b. Abin said in Rab's name: If she is divorced, both are equal.35 Our Rabbis taught: It is said: Honour thy father and thy mother;36 and it is also said: Honour the Lord with thy substance:37 thus the Writ assimilates the honour due to parents to that of the Omnipresent. It is said: ‘Ye shall fear every man his father, and his mother’; and it is also said: The Lord thy God thou shalt fear, and him thou shalt serve;38 thus the Writ assimilates the fear of parents to the fear of God. It is said: And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death;39 and it is also said: Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin:40 thus the Writ assimilates the blessing41 of parents to that of the Omnipresent. But in respect of striking, it is certainly impossible.42 And that is but logical,43 since the three 44 are partners in him [the son].



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