When the Gemara says "she should have read the get", a phrase repeated many times, could women read? Is it a falicy promoted by goyem that in these early times, women were illiterate? Thank you.
Ruth Krieger, Boca Raton, Fl. USA
I am not sure if that can be proven from here. If an illiterate person is given an important document, he should have someone read it to him. In fact, the Rishonim point out that even if the woman knows how to read and reads the Get, it will not help her unless she reads it with a Talmid Chacham who can determine whether it was written properly.
We certainly find references to women who could read in the Mishnah (see Erchin 2b and Megilah 4a, Tosfos DH Nashim regarding Megilah). We even find women scholars of the Mishnah, such as Bruriyah, who is cited Halachically in the Tosefta on occasion (see Pesachim 62b).
Women are obligated in Hallel and Birchas ha'Mazon etc, but I suppose they could either hear it from men or say it by heart.