• February 3, 2023
  • 12 5783, Shevat
  • פרשת בא

Women & Talmud Torah

Women & Talmud Torah

As we approach Shavuot and celebrate the anniversary of our receiving the Torah, often by making a special effort to engage in Torah study, it is important to think about how we each relate to the study of Torah.

While this question may be quite individualized, there are significant gender-based considerations to take into account. Join Mrs. Sarah Rudolph and explore some of the sources regarding women’s relationship to Torah study: Are women obligated to study Torah? Exempt? Forbidden?

What are some of the sources and rationales at the heart of these debates, and how have they played out through halachic history?

May 11, 2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women & Talmud Torah: Do Women Have an Obligation to Learn Torah?
Class description

The Gemara seems clear – but other sources may present a more complex picture.

May 18, 2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women & Talmud Torah: Women & Talmud Torah: Is there a prohibition?
Class description

We saw last week that women are not obligated in Torah study – at least, not the all-encompassing obligation that falls on men. But is there any reason not to opt in?

May 25, 2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women & Talmud Torah: What does Rambam really say about women and Torah study?
Class description

Rambam seems to clearly rule in accordance with Rabbi Eliezer, against women learning Torah – but a closer read raises a number of questions, especially when considered in light of Rambam’s statements elswehere.

June 1, 2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women & Talmud Torah: Beyond the “Most”
Class description

Rambam says the reason for not teaching daughters Torah is that “most women” are not intellectually suited for Torah study and it will therefore lead to “divrei havai.”

But what about women who don’t fall in that category of “most”?

What if societal changes necessitate reevaluating what “most” women are like?


Sarah Rudolph is Director of TorahTutors.org. She is a freelance Jewish educator, writer, and editor and has been sharing her passion for Jewish texts of all kinds for over 15 years, with students of all ages. Sarah’s essays have been published in a variety of internet and print media, including Times of Israel, Kveller, Jewish Action, OU Life, The Lehrhaus, TorahMusings, and more. She is Editor-At-Large, Deracheha: womenandmitzvot.org. Sarah lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children, but is privileged to learn online with students all over the world.