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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shemos 35:26. The Women Who Wove for the Mishkan

I don't have much time this week, so I am putting this in just for your reading enjoyment.

On the blog http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2009/03/donation-of-women-to-mishkan.html
Reb Chaim B., who is also too busy to write as often as he would like, wrote:

Too much work, too little time to write...
The Torah tells us that the women also donated to the Mishkan, expertly weaving while the wool was still attached to the sheep (35:26). Yet, we know the halacha that a women's handiwork actually belongs to her husband. Isn't it husbands and not wives who deserve the credit from the pasuk?

I saw an answer quoted in the name of R' Chaim Volozhiner's mother (and yes, it is because of who said it that I am writing this). The reason a husband is entitled to keep his wife's handiwork is because he provides her with mezonos, food and support. ( ed.- Ma'aseh Yadayim is in exchange for Mezonos.) Since in the desert the women did not need their husband's support, as the man fell equally for women as well as men, this takanah of ma'aseh yadayim belonging to the husband did not apply! (ed.-In the comments, it was pointed out that even before matan Torah the dinim of kesuva, and most likely the appurtenant reciprocal duties, were observed.)

"Rebbetzin Volozhiner" may get creativity points for her answer, but my wife prefers pshat to derash and when I mentioned this question on Shabbos she immediatly pointed out that who says the women who donated were married -- maybe they were the single girls and the whole kashe doesn't get off the ground.

In the comments, I wrote
I assume that your Isha Chashuva means the single girls that were past katnus and na'arus and still not married-- the old maids, so to speak. Because before that, their ma'aseh yadayim belongs to their fathers mide'oraysa.
And now, we see how our holy Toireh is merumaz at in our daily language-- http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=spinster