Photo Credit: Jewish Press

In my grandparents Yiddish-speaking home, gezunt was the central brachah: Zay Gezunt, etc., was how they saw us off. That and Shalom. It seemed that health and peace were the two most coveted things in life. They had barely survived the war, and had lost so many to the Nazis, health and peace in life were central.

For me, a healthy community is what drives me in the work that I do. When we allow extremes to become norms, the community is not healthy. When we place one value over all others, the community is not healthy.

Advertisement



Yet, this is what I see constantly. The concept of modesty has been warped and taken to its extreme via the wholesale erasing of women’s images. This extreme concept has fast become a central pillar of much of Orthodoxy. And this is unhealthy. Erasing half of the community, central parts of the family, in a misguided definition of modesty reduces women to physical beings and removes the healthy middle ground Judaism has always stood for.

To be gezunt is to be balanced; it is to stand to neither extreme. This is what we must strive to achieve.

Advertisement

SHARE
Previous articleWord Prompt – GEZUNT – Daniel Finkelman
Next articleWord Prompt – GEZUNT – Yehudah Pryce
Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll is cofounder of Chochmat Nashim, fighting the extremist trends that harm the community. Originally from Lakewood, she lives in Israel with her family.