web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Making a Horse Look Like an Elephant

Female Rabbi

Advancing the cause of feminism is not the purpose of a Shul. The purpose of a Shul is prayer. A Minyan enhances our prayer. That’s it. Everything else is peripheral. Not that peripherals are bad. On the contrary. Many of them are very good. But not all of them.

One of the points made by Mr. Gordan is the following:

Partnership minyanim have gained support from some rabbis and opposition from many more. The debate they have inspired reflects how central the public prayer service is to the identity of Orthodox Jews. Apologists for the current state of affairs in Orthodoxy will contend that the true seat of Judaism is the study hall, but the resistance to allowing any change in women’s roles in the synagogue makes clear the importance this institution has in Jewish life as well.

Perhaps this is where the problem really lies. As important as a Shul is – it is not the central focus of Judaism. But in Heterodox movements this has certainly been the case. Just as the church is the central focus of most Christians so too has the Shul been the focus in Heterodoxy. I think this is one reason Orthodox feminists are so focused on the Shul – seeing it as a central defining part of religion.

The truth is that Orthodox Judaism is a full time religion. Halacha mandates that we pay attention to God throughout our day and provides many rituals for both men and women to do so. The Shul is a place where one of those rituals take place. It is our house of prayer. But it does not define us in our totality.

As I said I would not ban these Minyanim. I would even encourage Jews who might be attracted to the egalitarianism of Conservative and Reform Judaism to give these Minyanim a try first. But in my view these Shuls are not the wave of the future. Nor should they be.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

7 Responses to “Making a Horse Look Like an Elephant”

  1. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Little problem with the article a) women have always been welcome to pray with the minyan (once there are 10 men present), b) they aren't counted among the 10 first persons needed to constitute a minyan because -according to the Talmud- some men used to force their wives and daughter to neglect their other tasks in order to complete the minyan, c) contrary to the perception of many men (and quite a few women), women are allowed to do all the time related mitzvot, they just aren't held to accomplish them, because other tasks may be more urgent (it's more urgent to nurse your child than to read the Torah), d) there are many sexists things in Judaism, this is just not one of them. Speaking of sexist male intervention in Judaism, why did the rabbis suddenly barred women from wearing Tallit and tsitsit in the 14th century and when are they going to correct this abuse of power?

  2. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    tongue in cheek, if you've seen a Percheron, you've seen a horse which already looks a lot like a trunk-less elephant while nonetheless still being the epitome of horsedom.

  3. Johanna Yaffe says:

    we aren't talking about women being included in the minyan.. you reveal your agenda when you say with what seems like shock.. 'There are even MO Shuls that allow women to speak after Davening from the pulpit.'
    what on earth is wrong with that? why can't a woman give a devar torah, make an announcement etc…AFTER dovening? unless you have a real issue with kol isha… and I don't see what the problem is.. there are cases of women teaching Torah in yeshivot to bochrim way back in the days of the shtetl (admittedly usually behind a screen)… so even more so today when women are in the public sphere in all walks of life….
    kol isha only applies to women singing (and then only individually..and not in groups..) and not in community like at the Shabbat table…(qv Rabbi Twerski of Denver -who was happy for his 6 daughters to sing zimrot…etc) and certainly not giving a talk… I even understand that the only real reason women aren't allowed to lain from the Torah is because it would 'shame' the men who aren't able to lain…
    and for goodness sake let women be able to contribute to their shul, because it is their shul too…in whatever way they can within halacha including dancing with the Torah on Simchat Torah, making announcements, giving speeches from the pulpit etc… or would you prefer it if women were banned from the shul altogether like in some parts of beit shemesh and meir shareem?

  4. Jeffrey Dorfman says:

    Dear Mr. Maryles,
    Do you think that everything that we do is somehow intrinsically Jewish? Many halachot are based upon the society around us. The Rambam held that a woman who walks in the marketplace without a veil can be divorced by her husband without dmei ketubah. Why did he think this? Based upon a pasuk in the Torah? No, he presumably felt that the woman had violated dat yehudit(Ketubot, msihna on 72a) as he understood it and as he lived in the world around him. Why did no European poskim hold the same way? European women usually did not wear veils! Mr. Maryles, why is it OK to wear wedding rings, which come from a Roman tradition, in which a ring was given to claim a woman? Many religious Jews do not know we copied from Ovdei Kochavim u'Mazalot. And, like wearing a veil to Rambam, many of our ideas of how women should be are not so intrinsic to Judaism, but are based on the place and role of women in the society around us at the time the halachot were written. Rambam argued married women should wear veils. Rav Kook argued women should not vote in elections. None of these standpoints were reasoned from psukim or anything but the outer society's understanding of a woman's place. Even mechitza is not so clearly d'oraitah, although you have a good leg to stand on if you think so (Rav Moshe). Some of our ideas of the propriety of women are no more Jewish than a wedding ring, and your horse got its mane and tail from somewhere not so completely Jewish, although it may have been toyvelled much longer ago.
    Best regards,
    Jeff

  5. You tell him!!! I keep telling the Roman Catholic church, but they keep ignoring me. My church probably does not understand my language, lol.

  6. Arwen Kuttner says:

    I attend a partnership minyan for the following reason: I am committed to being an active Orthodox Jew and as a result I like to be an active member of my shul. Being in a partnership minyan allows me to do that. I know that any contribution I make to the minyan is filling the space of an enormous list of things that must be accomplished each week in order for a shul service to happen. (I never knew before this how much coordination goes into lining up people to leyn, daven for the group etc.) When I show up, it matters. When I agree to lead, it matters. To me a partnership minyan is a venue in which anyone who wishes to show their dedication to making a service happen is able to do so.

  7. Arwen Kuttner says:

    I don't really get Facebook… the above comment I made was in response to the attached that I found rather offensive. I'm not sure that that's clear from the way it's all juxtaposed on my page here…

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Obama Stops Punishing Egypt for Dumping Muslim Brotherhood Prez
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Laura Adams, author of Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich, managing your money more effectively

The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Wherever you are Chabad gives you that missing piece–the home you left behind, nourishing body&soul

American-Jews-100413

How do you put a love of Judaism into a middle-aged man when it was never there in the first place?

MK Haneen Zoabi being ejected from the Knesset Floor in July 2011. She flew into an uncontrollable rage while the Prime Minister was speaking.

It is perfectly understandable how someone who has no background in Israeli politics could mistake Bibi’s speech as racist…

Israel’s Charedi world is in financial crisis. If the trend worsens it may be their breaking point.

Why do you need to file an FBAR if you’re a US citizen abroad? What happens if you don’t?

Jews caring for one another, that is how I would explain Israel to someone.

As Iran becomes the North Korea of the Middle East, Nasrallah doesn’t understand where all his friends went.

I pray each member of Knesset will represent the interests of the State of Israel & ALL its citizens

At no time did Kahlon say that he preferred to see Bibi in another term as PM-I don’t trust him!

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

Why do people feel the need to check their email 50X a day, constantly dipping in & out of Facebook?

Betar is the world-wide Zionist youth movement that refuses to be silent, and as our founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote: “Silence is despicable.”

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Moshe Gafni

Israel’s Charedi world is in financial crisis. If the trend worsens it may be their breaking point.

Rabbi Shneur Kotler

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

As long as radical Islam exists it would be irresponsible for Israel to give up an inch of land

This very bright Chareidi young man was unable to earn a decent living because he had NO education

We must convince Jewish billionaires to support Jewish education in ways they support other projects

When evil threatens to conquer the world, it’s the duty of free nations to endeavor to prevent it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/making-a-horse-look-like-an-elephant/2012/07/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: