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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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There’s No Ban on Women’s Tefillin, Ban on Stupidity Still Holding



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The author praises the principal of SAR for permitting his female students to pray with tefillin on, and, in the same breath, criticizes the Women of the Wall for praying with their talitot and tefilling at the Kotel. Is Mr. Yanover using a double standard? Click to find out.

The author praises the principal of SAR for permitting his female students to pray with tefillin on, and, in the same breath, criticizes the Women of the Wall for praying with their talitot and tefilling at the Kotel. Is Mr. Yanover using a double standard? Click to find out.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90



For the simple reason that the SAR students operated within the halacha, and the WOW are attacking halacha. Because the students at SAR recognize the idea of a halachic authority one should consult on difficult issues, and the WOW have been openly and shamelessly defying the halachic authority of the sacred place where they do their politics that only masquerades as religion.

Inside their shuls, the WOW are welcome to don four pairs of tefillin and ten talaisim each. But when they visit once a month an area which is governed by a halachic authority, they should obey him (or her, I’ve stopped caring about that one).

Here’s the most important point about this diatribe, which, if you only remember it and nothing else I would be delighted:

The entire idea of the mitzvot-commandments is to permit us to get closer to God. By obeying Divine law and keeping the mitzvah, we are actively removing a little part of our ego and replace it with a little bit of God. Doing a mitzvah brings us closer to God, sinning takes us farther from God.

By definition, we can’t get closer to God through catering to our egos.

How much more exciting it would have been, if the Women of the Wall were to tell the local rabbi at the Kotel: we disagree with your ruling, but out of respect we’ll obey.

They could have brought Moshiach with that one.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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