web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes

Leah Vincent as she appeared on Katie Curic's talk show.

Leah Vincent as she appeared on Katie Curic's talk show.

If there is anything that could turn someone off from Yiddishkeit it is the following , reported by Rabbi Yair Hoffman in the 5 Towns Jewish Times (republished at Cross Currents):

Recently, Yeshiva World News reported that one of the Rebbes of Satmar has been reporting an increase in cancer in his community rachmana litzlan. While no one can vouch for the accuracy of what was actually said, it seems that after some examination they (it is unclear who else was involved) concluded that it might possibly be due to a breach of tznius in their community – highlighting that it may be the wearing of excessive make-up. To this end, a new Vaad was created accompanied with a solicitation for funds.

I can’t believe that anyone with even a modicum of intelligence would ‘buy’ the suggestion that an increase in the incidence of cancer in a particular community is due to the fact that some of their female members (not the ones suffering from cancer) wear too much makeup. And yet the leader of one of the largest segments of Orthodox Judaism has actually suggested that might very well be the case.

I mention this in light of an article published in Jewish World Review (JWR) by Rabbi Avi Joseph. He wrote an open letter to Leah Vincent explaining why he did not ‘become her’… meaning why he did not abandon Torah observance despite having had a similar background and similar ‘yearnings’.

While I appreciate his perspective which in many ways mimics my own, I have to take issue with the implication of his words. He seems to be judging Ms. Vincent and claiming authority to do that by revealing a shared adolescent experience. From JWR:

Like you, as a teenager, I was drawn to the opposite sex. Like you, I experienced an engine humming in my gut with brakes nowhere in sight. It was new and it was engaging.

Like you, my parents and educators told me that following primal attraction at that age would be destructive. Boy girl stuff was wondrous — two human becoming one was magical — they said, when courtship was a dance that led down the wedding aisle. Otherwise, they opined, women tend to pursue love and men tend to chase sex, all while using the language of the other. Without the maturity of age and the grounding of marriage, both men and women are often left alone and adrift, broken hearts held together with anger and suspicion.

OK. Let us concede that these are indeed experiences that they had in common. But it takes quite a bit of Chutzpah to imply that these shared experiences nonetheless could have had different results as his personal situation shows. The the truth is that they did not have same experiences. Not even close. The mere fact that Rabbi Joseph is a man and Ms. Vincent is a woman in a world where male / female roles are so clearly defined and separated is enough of a reason to reject this comparison. The educational experiences of Charedi men and women are vastly different from each other even as their Hashkafos are the same. The pressures on them entirely different and not comparable.

In the Charedi world boys are subjected to intensive Torah study in subjects like Gemarah. Girls do not study any Gemara at all. Boys are required to spend an excessive amount of time in the Yeshiva. Their day typically at 7:30 AM and lasts until 10PM or later if they are Masmidim (diligently dedicated to Torah study). Girls start their school day later and end it much earlier – typically at 4 or 5 PM. Her curriculum will include a wider variety of religious and secular subjects. Many Girl’s high schools offer offer extra curricular activities like participating in a school play. This is unavailable to Charedi boys.

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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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.

No Responses to “Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of California, Los Angeles campus.
The Red Herring of the Definition Debate
Latest Blogs Stories
Seems Obama "Loved" Sderot when he was running to be Pres.

Jews & Israel will have a smaller role and value in the 2016 Pres. election campaign than in decades

obamatargetiran

No one wants war; sometimes there’s no choice. Sometimes it’s the lesser of 2 evils. US must prepare

Palestinians attack an Israeli soldier during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters, Aug28, 2015, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah.

Despite many IDF soldiers jailed for defending themselves, families say,”Rather jailed than dead.”

Someone should alert this man: Dani Dayan, Chairman of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council.

Why won’t the gov’t finally annex YESHA & Jordan Valley formalizing their status in State of Israel?

Both “Half-Shabbat” & R’ Yosef’s opinion champion an extreme. There most certainly is a happy medium

Trump’s slogan and story gives American restores hope to dream to: “Make America Great Again”

Is GDP outdated an measure of prosperity? Are there any alternative methods of assessing $ growth?

In their attack on Ban Ki Moon, Hamas admitted to committing a different war crime.

The ideal of Modern Orthodoxy should be not be viewed as a compromise the way most Charedim view it.

Israel shouldn’t rely on US; It has an awful record in protecting allies.

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Dem. presidential candidate Doug Shreffler talks about his campaign & its motto “as good as it gets”

I’ve decided to move away from my safety net-and I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.

Was “Jerusalem” the song Matisyahu planned to perform? It was the PERFECT response to BDS campaign

If the world’s winds of hatred bring Jews to Israel we are ready, joyfully offering them a home here

More Articles from Harry Maryles
obamatargetiran

No one wants war; sometimes there’s no choice. Sometimes it’s the lesser of 2 evils. US must prepare

Rabbi Norman Lamm of Yeshiva University

The ideal of Modern Orthodoxy should be not be viewed as a compromise the way most Charedim view it.

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Calling the Jewish Press‘closest thing to a frum English-language weekly’ insults the publication

Professor Cohen’s quotes statistics proving Reform & Conservative Judaism are in free fall.

Most that struggle abandon observance altogether. Why did these 3 remain observant?

Esav Sonei L’Yaakov: Is this how we should think of all non Jews?

Surprisingly, many Hareidi communities do not advocate full time Kollel study for life as the ideal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/walking-a-mile-in-someone-elses-shoes/2014/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: