Monday, March 12, 2007

women of valor

Parshat Va'Yakhel

In 35:22 it says, " And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought nose-rings, and ear-rings, and signet-rings, and girdles, all jewels of gold; even every man that brought an offering of gold unto the LORD."

This statement of the Torah is juxtaposed with a statement we read last week in Ki Tisa.

There, Aharon suggested the men bring the jewelery of their wives. We are told he was hoping the women would refuse to part with their jewelry, effecting a delay in their plans. Aharon was wrong in his assumption because the men did not wait for the agreement of the women, rather they simply took the jewelry.

The righteous women refused to be part of the Golden Calf fiasco and refused to give up their jewelry to the point that it had to be forcefully taken from them. Here, the women along with the men happily participated in donating from their personal items and jewelry on behalf of the construction of the mikdash.

the women in the Torah constantly show their dedication to Hashem's path, even when the men constantly fail.


yingerman said...

I found that the posuk seems to say that the men took the jewelry from 'on themselves' not the womens jewelry at all!

Rafi G said...

interesting take. I understood from Rashi that Aharon assumed they would go to the women and that would cause the delay. In the end they just ripped it off the women without asking. That is how I understood it.

If it was the mens jewelery, why did Aharon think such a request would cause a delay?

I have to look at the passuk again to see if it is clearer one way or the other...

a_man said...

I take objection to the suggestion that "men constantly fail." Let's just do our part of "itkafya sitra-achrah" and leave all the kitrugim out (especially when they noge'ah to 50% of the world's Jewish population.)

Incidentally, all generalizations are false, as the saying goes.

Rafi G said...

while I would not say men constantly fail (suggesting men cannot be relied upon), I would say that historically men were the source of most failings and often women (nashim tzidkaniyos in the terms of hazal) came to the rescue (in Jewish history at leeast)..

a_man said...

You are certainly correct in your assessment, now that you clarified...;-)