Leading Israeli religious Zionist rabbi: A woman's place is in the home
Leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would 'harm the quality of life of the nation.'
A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women's place, and "not the domain of social activity," thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.
Rabbi Zvi Tau, president of Har Hamor Yeshiva and a leader of the more extreme orthodox trend among the national-Zionist public, wrote the treatise for internal use. The leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would "harm the quality of life of the nation."
Austria-born Tau was for many years a student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and one of the heads of the Merkaz Harav, religious-Zionism's most prestigious yeshiva. In 1997 he turned his back on the yeshiva and created the Har Hamor yeshiva, but is still considered one of the leading rabbis of the movement and a notable supporter of the concept of nationalism, which considers the state of Israel holy and opposes refusal to follow orders in the IDF.
Tau publicly supported former President Moshe Katzav, who was imprisoned for rape, and called on him, at the time, to refuse to resign.
Two months ago Tau wrote, for internal use, a treatise called "who created me as he willed," a quote from the prayer said by women every morning dealing with the proper place of women according to the Torah. Tau's position is radical, often more than orthodox concepts.
Tau writes that men and women have different roles. Indeed,it seems that the woman is discriminated against but it isn't so, he writes. Women, according to Tau, have more emotional power, while men are more cerebral. This division is needed because of the world's limitations, since it is unable to contain full realization of both emotion and mind. Women, due to nature's needs, were not meant to occupy themselves with "the depths of science and morals," but rather with carrying, giving birth to, feeding and raising children. Rabbi Tau claims that this is woman's "natural vocation, and God created within her the necessary talents and an inner orientation for these issues," which negate the possibility of "commiting oneself to the depths of science."
Tau adds that the worldwide trend of allowing women equal education, and striving for equality, can only guarantee short-term profits. In the long run this trend "will harm the quality of life of the nation and society, since the true female character will not be realized and will be missed by the world. Society and the nation should rather be built on perfecting the special attributes imprinted in women."
Tau continues to explain that children born to couples including women who devote themselves to their career will be "weak and flaccid."
So what can women do? Rabbi Tau answers: "Home is the natural habitat for women to express their special tendency ... not the domain of social activity. At home, without the bustle ... is where a woman can fully live her life."