Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior believes violence among Israeli teenagers stems from their mothers' careers. "People say that the youth has a problem of violence," he said Wednesday. "The problem is that the mother works and it's hard for her to devote herself to her home."
According to the rabbi, a woman pursuing a career – whether in a public office or a private one – is not doing the ideal thing as her job is to be a housewife.
The remarks were made in a leaflet which will be distributed in synagogues on Saturdays, as part of his support for Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, who has prohibited female residents of the Elon Moreh settlement from running for the office of community secretary.
According to Rabbi Lior, who is considered one of the prominent rulers in Religious Zionism, when her husband's salary is not enough to provide for the family, a woman can go out to work in any position. "But saying that it's fitting in the first place, or that I encourage women to go out to work? I believe this is not the Torah's view. A woman has enough to do inside the house."
He clarified that "although being a community secretary is not really an appointment but more of a professional manner, and I don't wish to hurt or belittle a woman's abilities or respect, these things are inappropriate for women after all."
The rabbi based his remarks on Rabbi Kook, who had said that public positions are not suitable for women, and Maimonides, who ruled that men rather than women should be appointed for national assignments.
"When people ask me if I encourage women to go out to work, I say that they should not – not in a way of contempt, God forbid, but because I acknowledge the importance of a woman's role in the house," the rabbi concluded.
"Once, when I was a marriage registrar, one bride was ashamed to say that her mother was a housewife and not a clerk or something of the kind. I told her she had nothing to be ashamed of, as being a housewife is not an eight-hour job but a 24-hour job. It's important for each person to fill the role given to him by God."