Thursday, September 25, 2008

A feminist interpretation of Chazal - from the mother of R' Yisroel Salanter - and on the Aderet

The Aderet has a fascinating sefer, Zachor L' Dovid which gathers together many different sources on a various subjects. For instance, he has a list of all the places where Rabbonim cite Torah explanations that they heard in dreams. In another section, he records all the places where women are cited as being knowledgeable in Torah learning (somewhat similar to the list cited in Mekor Baruch and discussed by D. Rabinowitz in Tradition). In this list, the Aderet records the following interpretation that he heard in the name of R' Yisroel Salanter's mother [the wife of the R' Ze'ev Wolf ben Aryeh Lippa - author of the commentary Ben-Aryeh in the back of the Vilna Shas]:

יומא פו:- שאלה אשה חכמה את ר' אליעזר מאחר שמעשה העגל שוין מפני מה אין מיתתן שוה אמר לה אין חכמה לאשה אלא בפלך וכן הוא אומר (שמות לה) וכל אשה חכמת לב בידיה טוו

should be understood in light of R' Eliezer's statement here-

כתובות פו: - המושיב את אשתו חנוונית או שמינה אפוטרופיא הרי זה משביעה כל זמן שירצה ר' אליעזר אומר אפילו על פילכה ועל עיסתה

(I must confess that I don't quite see the connection? - W.)

R' Eliezer was, of course, the one who forbade teaching torah to women -כאילו מלמדה תיפלות. See Meir Hershkowitz - Al Chinuch HaBanos in Ohr HaMizrach (two parts - maybe online?) for an interesting discussion of all the relevant passages.

See this post (and the comment by Ari Kahn there) for another interesting example of the Aderet's creativity. Today I happened to see another sefer by the Aderet written when he was about 13-14 years old (!!!)together with his twin brother entitled Sheves Achim. The Sefer belongs to the genre of the Kellalim seforim (as are many of the Aderets Seforim) and is exceedingly impressive. In the back, is a small kuntres Yair Nesiv with notes on ShuT Chavas Yair 94 which also discusses different Kellalim (that Teshuva is a portion of the CY's larger work Mar Keshisha described by David Kaufmann as:

the manuscript of Mar Keshisha, which is a dictionary of the terminology and methodology of the Talmud, in the widest sense of the word. It can be boldly averred that seldom has a collection of material for any branch of knowledge been attempted in such magnitude, and with such comprehensive observation of all facts connected there with as in this one.)

(There seems to be a recent BA thesis on the CY with the provocative title -

Joseph Scherban, "Rabbi Yair Chaim Bachrach: The Life and Thought of a 17th century Jewish Skeptic," (BA thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 2008), under the tutelage of Prof. David B. Ruderman

R' Kook's quasi-biography of his great father-in-law is available online here. There is a famous story (see Moadei HaReiyah) according to which an American priest was so very taken by the descripton of the Aderet in Adar Yakar that he converted to Judaism and moved to Israel with the special intent of translating the sefer so it be more widely know.

There is an excellent bibliography of all of the Aderet's seforim (piblished and not yet (I hope!) published) in the introduction to Sheves Achim. The seforim are published by R' Yaakov Hille's Ahavas Shalom and they are doing a fanstastic job (like all of their work). יישר חילם לאורייתא

[and see this thread-]


Josh M. said...

(Was he R' Yisroel's father or is this a different marriage? - W.)]:

His father, R' Ze'ev Wolf ben Aryeh Lippa.

Anonymous said...

aderet also authored an autobiography which is fascinating

Lion of Zion said...

"genre of the Kellalim seforim"

what's this?

Anonymous said...

"autobiography which is fascinating"

Discussed by Etkes in his work on the GRA and his World.

Wolf2191 said...

Seder Eliyahu - I've heard of it but never seen it.

His Nefesh Dovid is also very inetersting.

The Kellaim genre is Seforim like Sefer Kerisus or (arts of) Sdei Chemed -deals with different rules - like (off the top of my head)if the SA brings two opinions which is authorative, why does the Gemara use sometimes the term "Gufa" and sometimes "Amar Mar"

Creative Commons License
Ishim V' Shittos by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at