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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Ultra Orthodox Women Speak Up: The Dialogue Is Now Open

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A Jewish woman prays beside Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.

A Jewish woman prays beside Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.
Photo Credit: Sharon Perry/Flash90

As a religious woman, I understand that Judaism is not simply defined by all of the people that follow it. Religious communities are not exempt from sexual or monetary crimes. Unfortunately, racism, sexism homophobia, and criminality exist. Don’t protest in outrage when these failings are exposed, with claims of “chillul Hashem” (embarrassment to Judaism and G-d). It is the act of denial and sweeping it under the rug which is the actual “chillul Hashem”. Ultimately, G-d is good and loving so do not hide behind misinterpretations of his Torah, or self righteousness to excuse ugly and hateful behavior. As humans, we are all flawed but as religious Jews with the Torah to guide us, we have the means to be an understanding and compassionate people. I appreciate both Deborah and Chaya’s strength and honesty and the truth in both their voices. We all have a voice, and now there is finally the dialogue to speak and be heard.
As members of the Jewish nation we are obligated to continually strive towards perfection. The only way to continue our ascent up the ladder of spiritual refinement is to honestly address our issues as a nation and open up a dialogue about how to responsibly overcome them. This is the only way we can honor our communities as a whole from within. As we prepare to receive the Torah this Shavuos, let’s keep in mind that honest self-examination is a precedent to true spiritual achievement.

Nina Safar

About the Author: When Nina Safar is not updating recipes on Kosher in the Kitch, she enjoys playing hostess. Never having too much time in the kitchen, she likes recipes that taste great and are easy to make. Kosher in the Kitch features recipes from experienced foodies as well as experimenting cooks. You don’t have to be a chef to cook a good meal! For more great menu ideas and tasty recipes, check out www.kosherinthekitch.com for your next favorite dish. Share your get-fit tips, weight loss battles, and stay-in-shape recipes by emailing nina@kosherinthekitch.com and visiting the Kosher in the Kitch fan page on Facebook.

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