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Q&A: Torah Reading: Why Only Men?

Q: Are men the only ones allowed to read the Torah to both males and females? I was born to read the Torah in front of both men and women.

A: There are many commandments that have been specifically commanded to men, and not to women. These commandments are tailored to the man's spiritual needs, and not to the woman's.

G-d created every person with a particular mission to accomplish. The person also receives all the "tools" that he needs to accomplish his life's mission. This is the most important thing that he can do.

It is important to remember that if a woman is not commanded to perform a given mitzvah, it is because she does not need that mitzvah in her spiritual service of G-d. On the contrary, performance of that act may have a negative impact upon her.

The woman is the secret of Shabbat. Just as on Shabbat there are actions and mitzvot that are not performed because the inner, essential pleasure of Shabbat supersedes performance of these actions, so the essence of the woman – Shabbat –  supersedes these actions as well. These mitzvot and actions already exist in her soul.

In this world, the woman is in the role of the receiver. Though appearing to be lower than that of the man, the giver, this role is not spiritually lower than the man's role. In the future days, (L'atid lavo), the woman's role will be apparently higher than the man's role. This is the meaning of the verse in Parables: "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband." The spiritual abundance will then come from the woman to her husband.

For more in depth, see Rabbi Ginsburgh's book, "The Mystery of Marriage," available at our webstore at or partially on our website at



Photo by HOWI – Horsch, Willy – eigenes Foto (Zeughaus), CC BY-SA 4.0,

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