According to some commentators, the curse of Chava(Eve) changed the woman’s place. As part of her punishment for her role in eating from the Tree of Knowledge, God told the first woman, “He (the man/husband) will dominate you[xxxv]”. The Ramban understands this as giving the husband a controlling role over his wife in marriage.

This does not mean a husband should be controlling. Rather it is a punishment, that he would be, something which indeed happened for a big part of history.

Perhaps as we approach the End of Days, the curse of Eve is slowly lifting, hence the [good part of] the feminist movement. Similarly, we are seeing another of Chava’s curses, pain of childbirth, somewhat mitigated today, with modern medicine and epidurals[xxxvi].

But, as mentioned before, a careful differentiation must be made between the husband’s domination- which is a punishment- and the husband leading, which is an ideal and the secret to a healthy, happy, holy, and successful marriage.

Get answers to more questions about the role of women in Judaism.

[xxxv] Bereishis 3, 15

[xxxvi] Suggested by Y.Y. Luban

By Rabbi Pinchos Fried

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