Mar 4, 2017

Women Are Absent

I find it interesting how we never hear a story about the beis din shel maala (Heavenly Court) that has a woman involved. If you know of any, please tell us ...

All those stories, about arriving in the next world and having one's deeds scrutinized, and piles of mitzvos and sins, and angels or tzaddikim getting involved in the judgment, and what it is like in the place of reward or punishment, never have a female as the protagonist! Why is this so? For that matter, I don't think I've read any stories about Jewish women who are nearly dead or apparently died, who come back to life to tell what they've seen in the next world.

I'm not talking about women who are no longer living coming to someone alive in a dream; there are stories like that.

For that matter, some of the questions that the Gemara (Shabbos 31a) says a soul will be asked do not apply to women. The questions are:

אמר רבא בשעה שמכניסין אדם לדין אומרים לו נשאת ונתת באמונה קבעת עתים לתורה עסקת בפו"ר צפית לישועה פלפלת בחכמה הבנת דבר מתוך דבר ואפ"ה אי יראת ה' היא אוצרו אין אי לא לא. Rava said: After departing from this world, when a person is brought to judgment for the life he lived in this world, they say to him ... Did you conduct business faithfully? Did you designate times for Torah study? Did you engage in procreation? Did you await salvation? Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom or understand one matter from another? And, nevertheless, beyond all these, if the fear of the Lord is his treasure, yes, he is worthy, and if not, no, none of these accomplishments have any value. 

Did you conduct business honestly? (some women are in business; many aren't).
Did you set fixed times to study Torah? (not for women)
Were you involved in being fruitful and multiplying? (a man's mitzva)
Did you look forward expectantly for the redemption?
Did you engage in the pursuit of wisdom?
Above all else, does the person have fear of heaven?


  1. Perhaps this question can be resolved with reference to the concept that the souls of husband and wife form one spiritual entity, and the mitzvos of each complement those of the other. E.g., men light Shabbos candles through their wives' doing so and women don tefilin through their husbands' doing so (IIRC, this is a teaching of the Arizal quoted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe).

    Also, perhaps the events before birth can enlighten us on how to view those after death. See the discussion at the beginning of tractate Sotah, where it states that 40 days before a fetus is formed, a heavenly voice proclaims bas ploni liploni--which is addressed to the baby boy. There, too, the identity of the female seems subsumed in the male's.

  2. Shalom.

    I came across your blog via Myrtle RIsing.

    I had sometime ago seen this video of this young Jewish lady, and her story of NDE.
    Sending it to you, you might find it interesting.

    Shalom shalom.

    stella c.