Once I was at a speech given by a middle age orthodox Rabbi trying to attempt to explain the beautiful way Judaism respects women. It was not going well. The audience was a bit hostile and looking for a way to trip him up. One woman raised her hand, “Rabbi, with all this talk about how religious women are so looked up to; tell me what does your wife do?”
The crowd was suddenly quiet and paying full attention.
“My wife? Oh, she runs a home for abandoned children. There are 13 children; from the ages 6 months to 17 in this home. She is the CEO of this home which consists of her handling many jobs; director of child development, the chief adviser, finance manager, educational director, personal chef, chief head of maintenance, transportation administrator, beauty consultant, therapist, daycare provider, production manager, event planner, medical administrator, speech specialist, early education moderator, and behavioral management.”
The woman sat down. A spontaneous applause was heard through the crowd. The women suddenly looked at this man standing in front of them with more respect. His wife was an achiever.
Another woman asked, “How can she do all that? How many hours does she work?”
The Rabbi answered, “She works full time actually. She even works 7 days a week, but I try to help her out when I’m free. Yes, I’m very proud of my wife’s achievements and try to be support her whenever I am able, but she is the main person involved and the head of all the decision making.”
“Are the children all the same age? Does the home get recognition from the government?”
“No and no,” the Rabbi answered. “None of the children are the same age, since the home has opened; she has received more children on a regular basis. And no, there isn’t any public money involved with the home, which is why she needs to be so involved with the financial department, though I try to help her and the home as much as I can especially in this area.”
“Does she have a school running in the house?”
“No, other than early childhood preparation, she does send them to the local schools where she evaluates each child’s needs and picks the best schooling for them. This of course, takes a lot of management, since she needs to stay close contact with each child’s teacher and make sure they stay on top of their work schedules.”
“What was her background to take such a position?”
“She has regular school background; 15 years of educational schooling and many years of on-training internship with full supervision from experts.”
“Rabbi, how does your own family deal with your wife so involved out of the house?”
The Rabbi suddenly looked sheepish and with a little smile. “Well, I have to admit, it is our home and our children. But believe me if we didn’t take care of them – no one else would!”