How can we expect a woman to support the family, when her main function is to take care of the home and the children?
Now, nobody is expecting a woman to do that. It's a woman who volunteers. Can you expect a woman who gets married, to be without her husband for 24 years? What kind of marriage is that? A marriage on condition to be separated from the husband? But great neshomos did that. Rochel the wife of Rabbi Akiva, she married him on the condition he should go away and study Torah, and she said 12 years! And later she said twelve more years, and he didn't see her in between; 24 years he was away at her wish.
Certainly you can't expect anything of people beyond their normal function, but when people rise above normalcy and they are greater than people usually are, so now – do you know who the teacher of the Jewish people is? Rochel the wife of Rabbi Akiva, she is the one who transmitted the Torah to the Jewish nation, Rabbi Akiva said that. When he came back with his 24,000 disciples following him, so he said to them, sheli v'shelcho shela he, all the Torah that I have and all the Torah you have is hers. Which means, Rochel was the teacher of the Jewish nation. If not for her who knows what would've happened to the Torah.
Of course we can't demand anything of a kollel wife; if she doesn't want, we can't demand it of her. But if she can rise, and become greater than her usual function, so that's everybody's situation in life. Everybody can make for himself a situation of greatness, if he goes beyond what's required of him.
Among the lessons, we learn that we must understand that whether it is the command of the king for the bark of a dog, everything is under Hashem's direction. When a person is subjected to the experience of an insult by men or by the bark of a dog, he must understand that it was planned by Hashem. Whatever Hashem's purpose was, but if the recipient of the insult or the bark succeeds in understanding that it came from Hashem, he has already fulfilled the intention of Hashem.
Both the king and the dog participated in the plan of Hashem to demonstrate "the difference between the Egyptians and Israel." Because Israel had passed the long and difficult test of keeping aloof from the people of the land and had not changed their names and language and their national ways, Hashem therefore caused all the Plagues to keep Israel apart and unharmed.
Good Shabbos to all!
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.