Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SheLo Asani Isha

One of the most difficult Brachos for me to understand is the Bracha Shelo Asani Isha. Those who know me will recognize my complaint. I cannot understand how that Bracha could be composed. I have had numerous discussion with some very brilliant people on Avodah about this issue but it has not resolved this issue for me. Why am I thanking God that he did not make me a woman? Why is being a man so special? The classic answer is that men have more Mitzvos and that is what we are really thanking Him for.

But why should that be significant? If women have less Mitzvos then they don’t need them as much. In other words they achieve the same status in the eyes of God as man does for their Mitzvos as we do for ours. So in essence we are thanking God for giving us more work to do without any real benefit.

And why make the Bracha in such negative fashion? Why thank God for NOT making me a woman? Let me thank God for making me a man! And why do women not have the same Bracha in reverse? Why do not they thank God for not making them a man?

I have heard many different answers to this question and have yet to here a satisfactory one. I just don’t get it.