Why is it that it is not right for women to learn gemara?
And the answer is, very simple. Because there is a very important principle in life and nobody should be a wise guy about it; everybody should fear what this ma’amar says: להתרחק מן הנשים – Keep far away from women. You just can’t help it. It’s human nature. And women should keep far away from man. הוי בורח מן העבירה כבורח מן האש — You have to run away from sin like you flee from fire.
Now, if a man will open a gemara and somebody, a female, passes by and she says, “Do you know, I have a kasha over here,” and they get into a discussion, he should know he is playing with fire. It starts out with Gemara and it ends up with Gehenim.
And not only that; even Mesilas Yesharim — let’s say you want to learn Mesilas Yesharim with a woman together, it is a messila that goes straight down into shiva medurei gehenim; there is no question about it. You can’t help yourself. Not because you are a sinful person; that is how Hakodosh Boruch Hu created the world.
Therefore, since people have to learn gemara and if women would do the same it would cause a very great, a very, very great disaster in the world, so Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “Ladies, you want to learn? Learn chumash.” It is a very important subject chumash; so you stick to chumash and people who learn chumash they wouldn’t bother with you because the men usually go on to other things. Or if you want, you can learn tanach. You can learn things; there is plenty to learn. Just stay away from gemara because gemara is something that men have to do.
Now, I will explain a little more. Gemara takes up a big part of your spare time and women can’t afford to give all that time because women work all day long. A man’s work is from sunrise to sunset usually, or from nine to five, but a woman’s work is all around the clock; they have to raise up families and they can’t afford to sit at the gemara – otherwise what would happen to the family? And therefore whenever they get a chance, when they get a little crack in their schedule, they can get in something if they wish; there are plenty of good things to learn. But gemara, anybody who knows anything about gemara knows that it takes up a great deal of your time.
And therefore Hakodosh Boruch Hu says to the women: “You will get reward in the next world for having beautiful children with good derech eretz and frum and as many as you can have.” And Hakodosh Boruch Hu will reward you; you will be a millionaire in the next world. Your husband is going to be jealous of you. You lived such a contentment-filled ride through existence – you had no problems. The ‘only’ problem is to raise your family in a kosher way. Of course keep your mouth closed too; don’t talk too much – but that applies to everybody.
גדולה הבטחה שניתנה לנשים – How great is the promise that Hashem gave to women. He promises it to them more easily; they go to Gan Eden more readily than men. Whereas men have various kinds of problems; they fight sometimes over kavod – glory, who is a bigger lamdan. Oh yes! Competition in business, competition in the bais haknesses. Each one wants to be elected president and gabbai; all kinds of things happen among men. But the women are excused from that kind of competitive life.
And therefore it’s not so easy to be a man. The only reason we make the bracha of shelo asani ishah, I always say, is because a man has pockets in his suit; women don’t have pockets. It’s such a blessing to have pockets! So when you have pockets that’s why you can say shelo asani ishah – “Boruch Hashem, I have pockets!
TAPE # 947