Much has recently been written for and about the Jewish woman - yet the present volume fills an important gap in this literature.
In response to those who have questioned the place which the Torah assigns to women in the overall scheme of things, booksand articles of an apologetic nature have appeared; they have tried to spell out what to every Torah Jew is obvious: the importance and dignity of the role which Jewish women were assigned and which they have played so conscientiously throughout our history.
On the other hand, there have been publications devoted to the specific Dinim that have specifically been given over to women, first and foremost the laws of Taharas Hamishpocho, family purity. The details of these laws as well as their rationale - insofar as we can try to perceive it - have been treated by a number of authors.
Nowhere, however, has there been any attempt to gather in one place the specific provisions applying to women in the observance of Mitzvos in general. Yet anybody familiar with Torah law knows that - above and beyond the laws of family purity, kindling of Shabbos lights, and seperation of Challah during baking, which have been specifically put in the charge of the Jewish women - women are involved in the total discipline of the Torah laws. Like in the case of men, their lives are to be molded at every step by the divine edicts of the Torah; at the same time, since their role in life is distinctly different from that of men, there are concomitant differences in how many provisions of the laws apply to them.
This volume represents a comprehensive and scholarly effort to gather all these specific provisions in one place. This is not only a matter of convenience for easy reference. Inpresenting the overall picture of how a women is to discharge her duties in the cycleof daily living, this work projects the picture of Avodas Hashem that should pervade and shape a woman's life - and it can be expected that it will provide many with both quidance and inspiration toward that lofty end.
It should be noted that this book should prove of particular value for our girls' schools. Until now it was left to the teacher to supplement the standard Dinim textbooks on what might be considered a hit-and-miss basis. Certainly no teacher could be expected to mine the feild of Poskim and Teshuvos in the thorough manner of this work. This will now be available as an indispensable companion volume to the standard text, and help us attain the goal of education the N' shei Chayil of tomorrow.
Rabbi Joseph Ellias
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