Thursday, November 30, 2006

Women and Talmud Torah XII

(Material taught by Rabbi Kenneth Auman, presented by Chana. All mistakes are my fault.)

Now please click this link to be directed to a long Tosfos from Shabbos 111b.

Please look at the orange highlighted part.

This is a long Tosfos discussing halakhos including that of libun or m'laben meaning "to clean things." To clean wool- we learn from here that cleaning things on Shabbos is considered a melacha. So Tosfos is trying to discuss if there's anything that can be done if one gets dirty. So he suggests the idea of derech l'chluch. What is derech l'chluch? So normally we can't put water on fabric, because to do so is to clean the fabric. BUT when you wipe your hands on a towel, you are actually "dirtying" the towel! SO, Tosfos says, let's say there's a child who urinated on his mother. (And in those days people didn't have so many clothes, so the option of changing into clean clothes wasn't necessarily available.) So the mother can't put water on her dress to clean it on Shabbos, but what should she do? So Tosfos/ Rabbeinu Tam "heard this from the women" to "Wash your hands and dry them on your dress!" That way you're cleaning your dress through halakhically dirtying it (so you're not doing anything against Shabbos.) That way, the garment isn't full of urine. But the Ri himself disagreed, saying that normally wiping one's hands on a towel is considered derech l'chluch, but your purpose here is to clean the dress! So how can you do this?

The point that is relevant to us here is that Tosfos heard this from the women. This suggests that women have a knowledge of practical halakha (so at the very least, it would seem, women are allowed to learn laws with regard to practical halakha.)

No comments: