Rav Avigdor Miller on Getting Your Wife to Join the Workforce (February 1997)

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Q:
If a woman is capable of working, she’s a very capable woman, but she would rather stay home and take care of the children, should her husband stay in Kollel learning, and pressure her to get a job?

A:
The fact that a woman is capable of working does not obligate her to work. She has to be מסכים, agree, to such an arrangement in which her husband is learning and she is working. If she’s not מסכים, then forget about her capabilities. It’s time for you to start thinking about your capabilities.

Even though she can make a lot of money, it doesn’t matter. She’s not מחויב, she’s not obligated, to do a thing, except household things. Maybe small things in the house with which she can earn some money. But to go out of the house and work someplace, she’s not מחויב at all.

Even teaching, she’s not מחויב to do. A woman has no חיוב, no obligation to go out and work. She didn’t say אנא אפלח, “I will work,” in the kesuva. It was the husband who said אנא אפלח. And even though she agreed beforehand, she has the right to back out after a while, and say “I don’t want to anymore.” And now she wants to fall back on the תנאי כתובה, and the kesuva says אנא אפלח. That’s you, the husband.

TAPE # E-94 (February 1997)