In yesterday’s post I spoke about the blessing “You are a source of blessing God, our Lord King of the universe, who has made me with all of my needs”
Another blessing is one that only women say: “You are a source of blessing God, our Lord King of the universe, who has made me in accordance with God’s will”
This blessing has been a source of controversy because women have looked at it in light of the blessing that men say: “You are a source of blessing God, our Lord King of the universe, who has not made me a woman.” It sounds as if men are grateful for not being like those awful female creatures and women are supposed to humbly accept the terrible decree.
Alei Shur (the book from which we have been studying the subject of happiness) speaks about this blessing in a very different tone in the context of telling men that they should appreciate their wives. Women have a natural bent for bringing the infinite into the finite, and doing this is God’s will for all of creation!
I am reminded also of the verse in Ecclesiastes (Ch. 7:3): But see, this I did find: God made humans upright, but they have sought out many inventions. Rav Kook (first chief Rabbi of Israel) comments on this verse (Shabbat 10b) that because of the divine soul within him the inner essence of a person tends towards goodness.
So if anything is an expression of “humbly accepting God’s judgment” it is the man’s expression “that you did not make me a woman.” You did not make me with the ability to access my natural sensitivity to good. But at least I have been given more laws to perform that serve to bond my relationship with God.
The woman’s blessing is an expression of thanksgiving that says: You have not given me as many laws with which to come close to You but the foundation and goal of the law is to access and develop our natural moral sensitivity. Thank You dear God, for giving me this easy access to my innate moral sensitivity.
In this sense the blessing of being created in accordance with God’s will seems to be an overarching blessing that encompasses the other two blessings of “You make me with all of my needs” and “You have prepared the steps of a human being.” It is God’s will to give me all this unique combination of qualities and strengths and it is God’s will that I fill my unique space in the world.
Lest the men now feel dejected it is indeed a great blessing to have more tasks to do that connect them to God. From a woman’s perspective the quantity of tasks is not as important because the quality of the relationship is the goal of those tasks. The woman’s inner sensitivity is a strong force for harmony in her relationship with God and (literally) man.