Feedback ​Women in Hinduism and Judaism

For this assignment you are to give feedback regarding the following presentation. Please respond with 220 words .You may agree or disagree with the presentation. Give your reasons for your agreement or disagreement. Ask clarifying or critical questions. Give comments on any misunderstanding or misapplication of ideas.

In the history of women and their roles in society with work, family, and romance, it is not surprising that women have always been seen as inferior to men. Women also play a supportive role when it comes to religion as well. Within Hinduism, women primarily aid men in their journey to fulfill their three life debts. Women are primarily dependant on men in Hinduism. In traditional Judaism, women are seen as separate but equal. Women in Judaism have different jobs than men but they are still important to have done.

In Hinduism, men have different life stages to overcome, celibate student, householder, Forest Dweller, and Renouncer. They need the aid of women in order to get through the four different stages of life. Women are dependant on men in order to give not only them, but their daughters a home. While they are seen as beneficial in a man’s life, they are also seen in a negative aspect. In the Laws of Manu, women are praised as they are known to be essential within the household. It also denigrates them by saying that they are unreliable, fickle, licentious, and corrupt. It is believed that they cannot be granted independence from men.

In the Laws of Manu, it has been said that women are essential to the dharma of men and that they can find fulfillment in this submissive and supportive role. Every man within the upper class that practice Hinduism has three debts to pay. They need women for two of the three debts. His three debts includes repaying the sages, repaying the gods, as well as repaying his ancestors. In his first debt of repaying the sages, he has to learn the Vedas. In order to repay his debt to the gods, he has to perform a sacrifice. Women are included and essential with this debt because only a householder, or a married man, can perform sacrifice. In his final debt, in order to repay his ancestors, he has to provide a son. The son will then perform for his father, the rites at and after death. The woman is needed in order to reproduce and create the son, therefore the woman is again needed.

Men of the the upper three varnas pass through four ashramas during their life. The first stage is when the man undergoes a ritual that represents a spiritual rebirth, or a second rebirth. It makes the woman less significant because when the man undergoes this ritual, the second birth is from a man rather than a woman. The man is expected to also marry and take a wife so he can become a full householder. The Manu describes what would be the ideal female candidate for the man as well. In their third stage, the man will retire to the forest, typically with his wife, and leave all householder responsibilities with his son. Then in his final stage of varna, the man will renounce everything in his life, including his wife and children, and wander the world looking for freedom from everything, including Dharma.

Overall in Hinduism, a woman’s experience is reliant on men, and that they must remain dependent on men. With the daughters of the family, they are raised to eventually be apart of someone else’s family. The wife is the pativrata, or a woman that is faithful and dependent on her husband. She shows a religious obligation to her husband. The marriage ceremony called mungula, is very lengthy and complex because it does involve numerous binding ceremonies between the man and woman. The bride has to gain membership to her husband’s family and become subject to her mother-in-law. As a mother, her status is dependent on how many sons she brings into the world. Even as a widow, the woman still relies on men. Once her husband dies, she loses her status within her household and has to rely on her sons. She is also not allowed to remarry.

The role of women in Judaism has been consistent throughout time. However, the manifestations of these components are different and vary from era to era as well as person to person. The Jewish law does not monitor or regulate details of everyday life, but it does provide a basic model where each person may express their own character and personality.

Throughout time, the role of the wife and mother have primarily been of religious expression and duty as Jewish women. The vast majority of women of all cultures and religions have focused almost their entire life and energy on these roles. There are still debates that are held throughout society to try and figure out the origin and benefit of the roles women are in. It is recognized in the Orthodox Jewish world that these roles for women, of being wife and mother, provides opportunities for spiritual expression as well as growth. Home-life in Judaism is a large world filled with love from family, prayer, communal festivities, nurturing of others, and intellect. Women are not forbidden or looked down upon for holding any type of job. The Torah does not monitor the lives of women or their followers. It does emphasize that job occupations should be seen from a secondary standpoint and that any religious activities should be held above any material acquisition.

Women are not required to get married. A woman can find a place in the Orthodox Judaism religion without the involvement in the roles of a wife and mother. Most women in Judaism do find that in our time that the wife and mother roles are central to their service to the divine. It is up to the woman and it will differ from each woman how the centrality and manner of expression will differ. Family-life is an ideal setting for dedication because the personal lives of family members overlap.

The role of a Jewish woman is not easily defined because of the looseness of their role. It can be assumed that different for each woman as she develops herself with the general ideals of Jewish law and philosophy. Traditional Judaism looks into actions in the terms of duties and obligations, and not the modern socio-political notions of rights. In the traditional Judaism, men and women both have different duties and obligations, but they are always seen as equal but different.

In the history of time, the roles within society that dealt with work, family, and romance has been a bit tough for women. Women have almost always been seen as inferior to men and have always had to listen to men. Women have been in a supportive role when it comes to religion as well. In the religion of Orthodox Hinduism, women have primarily been an aid to men in their journey throughout their lifespan. Sometimes their roles have been completely removed from them. Women are very dependant on men in Hinduism and do not have many responsibilities that they are allowed to have. In the traditional Orthodox Judaism, women have a separate roles from men, but they are also seen as equal. Women in Judaism have different responsibilities from men, but they are still important to have done.

Sources:

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/jsa3/362/notes/Women%20and%…

http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm

http://www.shamash.org/lists/scj-faq/HTML/faq/08-0…