Monday, July 15, 2013

Women of the Wool – Their Role in the Tabernacle and in Astrophysics

The Torah makes special note of the fact that one aspect of the Tabernacle's construction - the spinning of the goat hair - was done by the women (see Exodus 35:26). I had often wondered why, of all the types of manual labor which went into constructing the Tabernacle, this job (and perhaps others like it, such as weaving or embroidering) was given to the women. It is not necessarily the case that they were more experienced in this work than the men, since for 210 years prior (while slaves in Egypt) the men had been forced to do women's work and vice versa (Sotah 11b). Since spinning wool was traditionally a woman's job, it should emerge that, if anything, the men would have been better trained at this skill than the women.