A Woman's Work


These are the types of work that a woman does for her husband: Grinding, baking, laundering, cooking, breastfeeding his baby, making the bed for him, and wool working. If she brings to the marriage a maidservant, she does not grind, nor bake, nor do laundry. If she brings two maidservants, she neither cooks nor breastfeeds his baby. Three; she does not make for him the bed nor works wool. Four; she sits on the couch.  – Mishnah

Our mishnah is not in accord with Rabbi Hiyya. Rabbi Hiyya taught, “A woman is only for beauty; a woman is only for children.” Rabbi Hiyya taught, “A woman is only for wearing woman’s jewelry.” And Rabbi Hiyya taught, “He who wants to make his wife elegant should dress her in linen garments. He who wants to improve his daughter’s complexion should feed her baby chickens and buy her fresh milk.” (B. Ketubot 59:)


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