Ask the Rebbetzin- Do I have to do housework?

31 10 2011

Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on

Achieving Balance: Class#2


I’m looking forward to setting up my own home and giving my future family all the love and care they need. However, I find housework boring and draining. I personally feel that I can only be the best me when I have time outside of the house for other pursuits. I think I’d feel resentful of a husband who expected domestic work to be my sole domain. What is the Torah outlook on this?




There is no halacha (law) requiring you to engage in housework. However, you do have a responsibility to manage your home. If you’re willing to invest a significant amount of your salary into hiring help and buying yourself the best that technology offers, so that the dishwasher washes the dishes and the maid mops the floors, that’s fine. You don’t have to do the actual work but you do have to see that it gets done.


When I mentioned this to some women, they countered, “Even if we can afford to hire help, why shouldn’t our husbands do half the work?” Here the issue isn’t about your dislike for domestic work but buying into the feminist myth that men and women are good at identical things and share the same desires. There’s no reason why a husband should be obligated to help in the house unless his wife needs it. This is a b’dieved (non-ideal) situation. Most women with young children require their husband’s assistance, whether they work or not. In this case, of course your husband should help.


But ideally you should come to a point where you can say, “This is my home and I am happy to take full responsibility for it.”




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