There’s an old joke about a rabbi who
meets a maskil that ends with the
rabbi saying, “You're not an apikores,
you’re an am ha’aretz!” [You can find
my take on that joke here.] We (by which I mean people who are no longer frum) hear this sort of thing a lot. If
only we knew more, we’d recognize that frumkeit
is the truth.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter
showed me a siddur she had gotten as
a prize for coming on time to davening
all year. It’s meant for teens, and has notes in the margins and appendices in
the back that are supposed to answer questions that the author says he’s
frequently heard from his students over his decades of teaching.
When I first read his siddur, I thought he was stam a rebbe who had a nice little project producing a siddur based on his experience. When I looked him up, I was surprised to find that he had a leading role at several different kiruv organizations, including serving as mashgiach ruchini at one. He really is someone the frum world looks to for expertise on answering "questions."
There’s a lot I can say about it - his
attitude towards people who have gone OTD is terrible, for one - but here I
want to highlight one of the appendices. In it, his answer to an often-asked
question shows that he has no idea of either the historical context in which
the teffilos he discusses there
developed or the time in which they were written. The answer also doesn’t
address the serious problems with the explanations he offers, but to be fair,
he does say that it’s only meant to be a brief placeholder for a much longer
The appendix begins with the question
it’s going to answer: “Is it so bad to be a woman that men thank Hashem that
‘You did not Create me a woman?’ And were men NOT created ‘according to Your
After a disclaimer about how this is a
complex subject that needs more discussion than he can provide in a couple of
pages at the back of a siddur (It’s
not. The answer is one word: misogyny.) he writes,
“‘So why did you include the question?’
To show you that it is a good question! Chazal
were careful how they worded things, so if they worded the two brachos the way
they did, there was a reason or many reasons, and the topic deserves study.”
This premise is foundational to the
rest of his answers. Without the assumption that the brachos are the deliberate
work of the greatest Jewish sages of the past, the theological answers he
provides don’t work. If the explanations he provides weren’t the intention of
those who instituted the brachos,
then they’re just excuses dreamed up later to justify the inexcusable.
We’ll see in the rest of this essay
- Chazal did not originate either of the
wording of the brachos was not fixed
until relatively late (in contrast to the assumptions that Chazal carefully worded the brachos
and it is their words that we have in our siddurim.
- The bracha “shelo asani isha” is part of davening
due to historical happenstance.
- “She’sheasani kirtzono” was a much later
response to the men’s bracha, and
became standard because of more historical happenstance.
apologetics typically offered to explain how the brachos aren’t misogynistic despite obviously being so (apologetics
which are repeated in the appendix we're discussing) are historically and/or
asani isha” is part of a trio of brachos
thanking Hashem for not creating one a gentile, a slave, or a woman. These
three brachos have identical wording:
“Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the Universe, Who did not make me a
[gentile/slave/woman].” While now part of the larger set of brachos that make up birchas hashachar, the trio were originally
unrelated to it. They first appear in Jewish sources in the Tosefta. The
version that is in our siddurim is from
a gemara in Menachos,
while the rest of birchas hashachar appears
in Brachos,  an entirely different mesechta. We first see the trio attached to birchas
hashachar in Sefer Halakhot Gedolot,
around two hundred years after the period of Chazal had ended.
The writing of the gemara is firmly within the period of Chazal, but the amoraim
did not originate the “shelo asani”
brachos. The trio of blessings was extant in the Greco-Roman culture most of the
Jews of the time were immersed in.
Diogenes Laertius, a contemporary of the Taanaim, writes,
“The story … is told by some of
Socrates, namely, that he used to say there were three blessings for which he
was grateful to Fortune: "First, that I was born a human being and not one
of the brutes; next, that I was born a man and not a woman; thirdly, a Greek
and not a barbarian."
Diogenes Laertius lived about three hundred years before the gemara
that gives us the version that is now in our siddurim. His work is contemporary with the tosefta that is our first Jewish source for the trio, and his attribution puts it much earlier. While the attribution doesn't prove that it originated with Socrates, it does show that it was a part of the larger Greco-Roman culture Diogenes Laertius and the Taanaim shared in the first centuries CE, and not something specifically Jewish.
Compare the quote from Diogenes Laertius to
the gemara. After
quoting several sayings of R’ Meir, the gemara
“It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: A man is obligated to recite
three blessings every day praising God for His kindnesses, and these blessings
are: Who did not make me a gentile; Who did not make me a woman; and Who did
not make me an ignoramus.”
Two of the blessings are identical: not
a woman and not an outsider (“barbarian” meant anyone who wasn’t Greek, and is
functionally a synonym for how Jews use the word “gentile'' to mean anyone who
isn’t Jewish). Perhaps it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that “brute” and
“ignoramus” are also conveying the same message: thank you for making me
someone who has understanding, and not an [animal/ignoramus].
The first two brachos are familiar to us. The third of the brachos we’re familiar with comes from the next few lines of the gemara.
“Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov heard his son reciting
the blessing: Who did not make me an ignoramus. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said to him: Is it in
fact proper to go this far in reciting blessings? Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov’s son said to him:
Rather, what blessing should one recite? If you will say that one should
recite: Who did not make me a slave, that is the same as a woman; why should
one recite two blessings about the same matter? Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov answered: Nevertheless, a
slave is more lowly than a woman, and therefore it is appropriate to recite an
additional blessing on not having been born a slave.”
The “ignoramus” blessing was changed,
likely after the original source of the brachos
had been forgotten and new reasons developed for saying them. It’s interesting
that the content of the brachos were
in flux, but they had to be a trio. Rather than drop the “did not make me an
ignoramus” bracha and leave the other
two as a duo, the gemara substitutes
“did not make me a slave” to complete the trio.
While the formulation we use first
appears in the above gemara, it
wasn't the fixed standard until long after the time of Chazal. Evidence that the exact wording of the brachos were in flux comes from the Cairo Genizah. Fragments from the Tosefta, Talmuds (Bavli and Yerushalmi), and siddurim found in the Cairo Genizah have various formulations of
the trio. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press that the
availability of cheap, identical printed siddurim
established the printers’ chosen version as standard.
Tellingly, fragments from the Genizah
also preserve elements of the Greek blessings quoted by Diogenes Laertius. For instance,
some have the positive formulation (“I was born a man”) found in Socrates'
version, as opposed to the gemara’s
negative-only formulation (“did not make me a woman”). Some fragments also
include Socrates' third blessing, “that I was born a human being and not
one of the brutes,” and not either of the gemara’s
substitutes, the “ignoramus” or “slave” brachos.
This supports the conclusion that the Taanaim borrowed the brachos from the Greek blessings, and not the other way around. It's likely they were neither
created nor carefully worded by Chazal.
At least the trio of “did not create
me…” brachos entered Jewish prayer
during the time of Chazal. The other bracha discussed in the appendix, “shesheasani kirtzono,” first appears in
the 14th century Ba’al Haturim, seven hundred years after the period of Chazal had ended. Even then, the
formulation “shesheasani kirtzono”
was not universal. There are 14th century siddurim
that have the women's bracha as “who
made me a women and not a man,” “Who did not make me a man,” or “Who made me a
We've seen that the author of our sidder was mistaken when he said about shelo asani isha and asani kitzono, “Chazal were careful how they worded things, so if they worded the
two brachos the way they did, there
was a reason,” with the implied assumptions that Chazal originated the brachos
and that the version of the brachos
we have now is one that Chazal carefully
worded. Now we’ll turn to the explanations he offers for why the brachos aren’t the misogynistic
statements they appear to be.
He writes that we are all Hashem's
beloved children, but different children have different jobs to do. He says
that men and women are different. Men do better with structure, and so are
given mitzvos to do with specific
objects at specific times. Women are more intuitive, more in touch with kedushah. Intuitively serving God is the
ideal, but this is the more difficult path. It’s easier to have the way to
properly serve God laid out for you. Women take this harder path, and aren’t
obligated in the highly structured mitzvos
because that would interfere with their free-flowing intuitive service of God.
When men thank God that they weren't
created women, they are thanking Him that they have the easier, structured
path. The equivalent women’s bracha
can't say that they were happy not to have been made men, because that would
imply that they're happy to have fewer mitzvos.
Instead, they say that they were made in accordance with God's will, able to
intuitively serve Him.
All of his points are debatable: that men do better with structure and that women are more intuitive, that
intuitive service is more difficult, that women are more in touch with
spirituality, that intuitive rather than structured service is God's ideal, and
that the brachos accurately reflect
any of these ideas.
Knowing as we now do the origin of
these brachos, we can see that these explanations
are clearly post-hoc apologetics. Socrates (or Diogenes Laertius attributing the blessings to the famous Socrates) did not thank Fortune for being a
man and not a woman because he preferred to do mitzvos aseh she’hazman grama. Shesheasani
kirtzono was not instituted along with the men's blessing as a balance to
it, and it wasn’t phrased that way because women had to avoid offensively
saying that they were happy to have fewer mitzvos.
A women's blessing to complement the men's didn't show up for around 900 years
after the gemara from which we get
our current trio of brachos, and 1,100
years after “shelo asani isha” first
appears in the Tosefta. When a
appeared in the 14th century, there were versions that said “Who did not make
me a man,” the exact thing that the siddur’s
author says women couldn't possibly say! The reason that shesheasani kirtzono became standard is historical happenstance. The
Ba’al Haturim, where “shesheasani kirtzono” first appears, became
the basis for the Shulchan Aruch, and
the Shulchan Aruch became the arbiter
of halacha. Had the Ba’al Haturim lived in a place where one
of the other formulations of the women's bracha was standard, that other formulation would be
in all of our siddurim.
Let's ignore all of that for a moment
though, and examine these explanations on their own merits. There are
essentially three threads of apologetics typically offered (and repeated in the
appendix we're examining) to explain what are on their face an incredibly
misogynistic pair of brachos.
1. Women are more in touch with kedusha (and therefore don’t need as
2. The brachos are about mitzvos,
not the relative worth of men and women.
3. Women are how Hashem ideally wanted
people to be.
Before we address each of these individually,
I want to note that the source in which “shesheasani
kirtzono” first appears has a very different explanation. The Ba’al Haturim writes,
“And the custom of the women is to
recite “That You have made me according to Your will.” And it could be that
this custom arouse because it is like someone who accepts upon themselves the
righteousness of the evil judgment"
In other words, it's not about having
fewer mitzvos or about being the
ideal form of humanity. Just the opposite! It is resigned acceptance of the
unfortunate fact that they were created women and not men.
Women are more in touch with kedusha (and therefore don’t need as many mitzvos).
This apologetic shows up often in
discussions around women and frumkeit.
It's used not only to explain and justify shelo
asani isha / she’sheasani kirtzono
and why women are exempt from mitzvos
aseh shehazman grama, but also to explain in general that, despite being
excluded from any influence in the public life of the community, from participating
in shul, from serious Torah learning, from being poskim, and so on, it isn't true that women are second-class
citizens in Judaism! You see, in fact women are better than men! They’re holier
than men! And that's why women don't need to be involved in all these things
that are men's domain (and just happen to be all of the positions of participation,
influence, and authority).
The truth is it's just a platitude, a
meaningless statement that costs authorities in frum communities nothing to repeat and which does women no
Let's take it to its logical
conclusion. What would it really mean if people believed that women are more in
touch with kedusha than men? What are
the implications, and what would it look like if people acted on the belief?
For one, we would expect poskim and community leaders to consult
women when making decisions in order to take advantage of their intuitive grasp
of avodas Hashem. Instead, we see
that it has been a struggle to even get authorities in frum communities to allow specially trained women to decide questions
about niddah, and even that is only
allowed because many women feel more comfortable taking these questions to
another woman. For other questions of halacha
and community policy, women are often excluded completely. They certainly
aren't sought out for their unique intuition into what God wants of us.
For another, what would this say about
men? How could we allow men to be decisors of halacha when they lack an intuitive grasp of the ratzon Hashem? Wouldn’t it make more
sense to have women shape halacha?
Don't we want halachos that will best
help us be in touch with kedusha? And
yet, all poskim since forever that
are recognized by the frum world have been men. The reason is, as Saul Berman,
then Chairman of the Department of Judaic Studies of Stern College, wrote fifty
years ago, this only works if “it were understood, as it indeed is, that the
suggestion is not really to be taken seriously but is intended solely to
Let's consider the argument by which we
arrive at the conclusion that women are more in touch with kedusha. It can be formally written as follows.
Premise 1: The purpose of mitzvos are to help those who need the
guidance to connect with kedusha.
Premise 1a: If group A are obligated in fewer mitzvos than group B, it's because group A is more in touch with kedusha than group B.
Premise 2: Women are obligated in fewer
mitzvos than men.
Conclusion: Women are more in touch
with kedusha than men.
The conclusion follows from the
premises, but those who use this logic to placate women may not like what it
implies. Let's plug different groups into premise two, and see what happens. We
can try it with non-Jews.
Premise 2: Non-Jews have fewer mitzvos then Jews - 7 to our 613.
Conclusion: Non-Jews are more in touch
with kedusha than Jews.
Or with an animal.
Premise 2: Cats are obligated in fewer mitzvos than humans. In fact, they are
obligated in no mitzvos at all!
Conclusion: Cats are more in touch with
kedusha than humans.
Bolstering the contention that “women
are more in touch with kedusha” is
just a platitude that no one takes seriously and is meant only to placate
modern-minded women is that it first appears in the 19th century. Earlier
commentators say the exact opposite.
The Magen Avraham (17th century) writes,
“Women should not wear white on Yom
Kippur because they can't be like angels. As it states in Misheli (21:22), ‘A wise man scales the city of the mighty men.’
[This refers to Moshe going to heaven to be with the angels] It refers to the
Heaven as the ‘city of the mighty men.’ Thus, only men are capable of being
So much for women being more in touch
with kedusha than men.
Why then are women not mechuyiv in mitzvos aseh she’hazman grama? If it's not that they intuitively grasp
the ratzon Hashem and therefore need
less guidance from mitzvos, why do
they have fewer mitzvos? The Sefer Abudarham (14th century) gives us
a traditional Jewish answer.
“Woman is exempt from Positive Precepts
dependent upon a set time because she is bound to her husband, to attend to his
needs. Were a woman obliged to perform such mitzvos,
her husband might bid her to do something at the precise moment that she is
fulfilling one of these mitzvoth.
Should she fulfill the bidding of her Creator and neglect her husband’s
demands, she faces her husband’s wrath. On the other hand, should she fulfill
her husband’s demands and neglect the bidding of her Creator, she faces the
wrath of her Creator. Consequently, the Creator exempted her from these
obligations in order to promote harmony between husband and wife.”
According to this explanation, not only
is women’s exemption from mitzvos aseh
she’hazman grama not because of their superior spiritual status, it’s
because of their inferior social status. They are servants to their husbands,
and God has magnanimously ceded some of His claims on them to their masters.
These sources show us that
traditionally, Judaism held that women are inferior to men, both spiritually
and socially. So where did the idea that women are more in touch with kedusha come from?
It developed in the 19th century in
reaction to modernity. Women were no longer content to be second-class
citizens, and the haskalah saw the
traditional position of women in frum
society as backwards. Orthodoxy would not change its practice, but it was okay
with inventing apologetics to make traditional practices palatable. The world
was (slowly) moving away from rampant misogyny and was replacing it with
romantic notions of femininity, and Orthodoxy adjusted its hashkafa accordingly.
The Romantic movement swept across
Europe in the early 19th century, and the Romantic novel became a popular new
literary form. Haskalah writers borrowed
the form for Yiddish novels, and with it came the genre’s heroine archetype.
This character was pure, intuitive, and in touch with nature and emotion. She
was weaker than the men around her, and required their protection. In return,
she supplied emotional strength. The men left the home to earn a living, and
she provided domesticity and an emotional center for them to return to.
Translated into a religious idiom, the Romantic heroine became an eishes chayil, pure, intuitive, and in
touch with kedusha. The men around
her took care of public worship and positions of authority, and ceded to her
spiritual strength and building a bayis
ne'eman b’yisroel. It is ironic that Orthodoxy employed an archetype
invented in modernity and popularized in Jewish circles by maskilim to placate and keep within the fold those women who,
influenced by modernity and the haskalah,
were bothered by their secondary role in their religion and community.
The explanation that women are holier and
therefore don't need time-bound mitzvos
as men do was first articulated by R’ Samson Rafael Hirsch. R’ Hirsch writes in
his Commentary on the Torah,
“Clearly, women's exemption from
positive, time-bound [mitzvot] is not
a consequence of their diminished worth; nor is because the Torah found them
unfit, as it were, to fulfill these mitzvot.
Rather, it seems to me, it is because the Torah understood that women are not
in need of these mitzvot. The Torah
affirms that our women are imbued with a great love and a holy enthusiasm for
their role in divine worship, exceeding that of man. The trials men undergo in
their professional activities jeopardize their fidelity to Torah, and therefore
they require from time to time reminders and warnings in the form of time-bound
mitzvot. Women, whose lifestyle does
not subject them to comparable trials and hazards, have no need for such
Notice that R’ Hirsch’s description of
women parallels that of the Romantic archetype from European and Maskilic literature. “Women are imbued
with a great love and a holy enthusiasm,” a trait of the Romantic heroine who is
a font of emotional strength. And it is “trials men undergo in their
professional activities [that] jeopardize their fidelity to Torah.” Just as in
the Romantic novel, the men take on the difficult role to protect women, they
leave the house to earn a living, and come home to women who are pure, “whose
lifestyle does not subject them to comparable trials and hazards.”
Note also that R’ Hirsch writes “it
seems to me…” This is his chiddush.
From the time the bracha “shelo asani isha” appears in the Tosefta until R’ Hirsch presented his chiddush that women are more in touch with
kedusha was 1,600 years. To suggest that
this was the intent of those who adapted the blessing into davening would suggest for 1,600 years, nobody thought to mention
it, and when it was finally mentioned in the 19th century, the talmid chacham who wrote it down thought
it was a chiddush. This is absurd.
Women are how Hashem ideally wanted people to be
This too is an explanation that fits
poorly with traditional Jewish sources. Abarbanel (15th century) addresses
directly the question of how Hashem ideally wanted people to be and expresses the
traditional view well, so I'll just let him explain it.
“Even though Man was created as male
and female, they were not both equally perfected. And even though they were the
same species they were not equally in the image of God. That is why the verse
states, “In the image of God He created him (singular), male and female He
created them.” In other words, only Man was created in the image of God, because
he was the reason and purpose for Creation. It was only for the necessity of
procreation that Man was created as male and female.
… The Torah doesn't say “man according
to his species,” but it does say that Adam was created male and female ... That
is because man is different than other animals in which the female is on the
same level as the male and is fully equal to him in nature. … That is why it
says about them “according to his species” without giving the male any
superiority to the female. However, it is different concerning man because the
male is the reason for creation of humans and he alone was created in the image
of God. Thus, the Torah states in the singular grammatical form, in the image
of God He created him.
…The male is the one who comprehends
mysteries of wisdom and not the female, about whom our Sages (Yoma 66b) said,
“There is no wisdom in a woman except for the spindle.” That is because the
creation of the female was only an afterthought to provide the man with a
helper and for the purpose of procreation, as the Torah states later. So, in
summary we see that man was originally created alone in perfection while she
was made afterwards in order to serve him…
However, that understanding seems to be
inconsistent with the view (Eiruvin 17a) that male and female were in fact
created at the same time as two entities joined together back to back. [See my
discussion of that gemara here.] However,
in fact, our assertion that woman lacks the image of God and is inferior to the
male is also consistent with the view that Adam was created as a hermaphrodite.
In other words, man was created with an additional form from which woman was
made…Adam was in fact a male in reality while the female aspect was only
subordinate and an appendage to the male entity in order to make a woman from
Thus we can explain that when it says Adam
was created male and female, it means that since the dominant concern was to
create an intelligent being whose purpose was intellectual, for that purpose
there was no need for the female and thus it was not proper to create the
female with him . … this verse of “male and female He created them” teaches
that … God wanted that man would be created not only with the intellect but
also with a non-intellectual material aspect … So even … according to this
second view … the two aspects were not equal in perfection but rather it was
the male aspect – the primary one - which was created with the image of God.
Man was created as male and intellectual and only secondarily as female to
enable the making of a second subordinate entity to serve the male.”
According to Abarbanel, the truth is
the exact opposite of the apologetic claim that “women are how Hashem ideally
wanted people to be.” He says “man was originally created alone in perfection,
while she was made afterwards in order to serve him.” Women were not how Hashem
ideally wanted people to be! They were an afterthought. They were created only
because they were necessary for procreation. They aren’t even created b’tzelem Elohim, let alone as the ideal
form of humanity. “The male is the reason for creation of humans, and he alone
was created in the image of God.” Abarbanel also refutes the first of our three
apologetics, the idea that women are more in touch with kedusha. He says, “The male is the one who comprehends mysteries of
wisdom and not the female.” Women exist only as a “subordinate entity to serve
Abarbanel is not the last word on the
relative worth of men and women in Judaism, but traditional Jewish sources
align with his views far more closely than they do with those of R’ Hirsch. And
it is striking how very different modern apologetics like those in the siddur’s appendix are from the views of rishonim like Abarbanel.
The brachos are about mitzvos, not the
relative worth of men and women.
This is the only one of the three lines
of apologetics that has support in the traditional sources. The tosefta where the trio of brachos first appears has explanations
for why each is said, and includes the explanation that shelo asani isha is about mitzvos.
”[The reason for saying a bracha for not making him] a gentile is
because it says ‘All nations are like nothing to Him. He considers them to be
empty and void.’ (Isaiah 40:17) [The reason for saying a bracha for not making him] a woman is because women are not
obligated in mitzvot [aseh shehazman grama].” [The reason for
saying a bracha for not making him] a
boor is because a boor is not afraid of sin.”
In contrast, the gemara implies that it is
about the relative worth of men and women. As we saw above, the gemara relates that Rav Acha Bar Yaakov
told his son to say a bracha for not
being created a slave instead of not being created an ignoramus. The son points
out that “a slave … is the same as a woman,” so saying a bracha about
not being made a slave seems redundant. When read through the lens of the
apologetic, it seems that the son is saying that slaves and women have the same
number of mitzvos. But Rashi explains
that the son's question is about status, because “a woman is to her husband as
a slave is to his master.” Rav Acha Bar Yaakov’s answer is also about status,
not mitzvos. He tells his son that slaves are “lesser” than women.
We might say that the third apologetic
is half true. It is true that in the earliest Jewish source we have for these brachos, the reason given for saying “shelo asani isha” is about mitzvos. But in subsequent sources, it
is also about status and the relative worth of men and women.
So we see that the apologetics the siddur’s author gives to justify what are
on their face blatantly misogynistic brachos
are, with the exception of one early mention of it being about mitzvos, recent inventions that are
contradicted by earlier sources and/or don't hold up logically. And we see that
he is apparently unaware of the provenance or history of “shelo asani isha” and “sheasani
The author is a professional kiruv rabbi with an illustrious career, someone
who is held up as an expert in providing questioning teens with answers to help them stay
on the derech. Is it really so hard
to believe that someone who believed the expert and built his or her emunah on his answers might leave frumkeit when they find out he doesn't
know what he’s talking about? How many such experts must one consult - and be
disappointed by - before they can be deemed an apikores and not an am
I’m starting a new venture. It’s been
three years since I finished my book on the Kuzari Argument, “Reasonable
Doubts: Breaking the Kuzari.” Since then I’ve been working on other planned
books in the series, and for the last year and a half I’ve been focused on a
book I’ve tentatively titled “Reasonable Doubts: Orthodox Myths.” It goes
through the central claims that frumkeit
makes about itself and deconstructs them one by one. It’s slow going, and I
think it will be a long time before it’s finished. In the interest of making it
available sooner (and motivating myself to devote more time to working on it),
I’m starting a weekly newsletter where I will regularly post excerpts. The first
post is the first few pages of the book, the next will be the next few pages,
and so on. If you’d like to read the book as I write it, check it out here: the2ndson.substack.com
 Tosefta, Berachot 6:23
 Rainbow Tallit Baby. (June 17, 2015). It’s not about the
extra mitzvot: Mansplaining the Morning Blessings [Blog post]. Retrieved from
 Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers 1:33
 BT Menachos 43b. Translation from Sefaria.org
 BT Menachos 43b Translation from Sefaria.org
 Jacobowitz, T. Book review of: Kahn, Y. (2011). The Three
Blessings: Boundaries, Censorship, and Identity in Jewish Liturgy. Oxford
 Jacobowitz, T. Book review of: Kahn, Y. (2011). The Three
Blessings: Boundaries, Censorship, and Identity in Jewish Liturgy. Oxford
 Rainbow Tallit Baby. (June 17, 2015). It’s not about the
extra mitzvot: Mansplaining the Morning Blessings [Blog post]. Retrieved from
 Tur, Orach Chayyim 46. Translation from Sefaria.org
 Berman, S.J. (1973). The Status Of Women In Halakhic
Judaism. Tradition 14(2). Retrieved from
 Mogen Avraham, Orech Chaim (610:5)
 Sefer Abudarham, Third Gate; Blessings on Commandments 28.
Translation from Sefaria.org
 Seidman, N. (2016). The Marriage Plot Or, How Jews Fell in
Love with Love, and with Literature, Stanford University Press. P 178
 Samson Rafael Hirsch, Hirsch Commentary on the Torah
(Brooklyn: Judaica Press, 1989), Lev. 23:43
 Abarbanel (Bereishis 1:27)
 Tosefta, Berachos 6:23, Translation from sefaria.org