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Running on Jewish Time

Friday, November 25, 2005

OrthoFem and Why I am Not One.

Orthodox Feminism.....

Let me explain why this phrase generally aggravates me beyond all belief.

1. It's not honestly Orthodox!

Expanding women's role in Jewish life is equivlent to expanding any other other item in Judaism. Inherent in the concept is that Judaism1 is not wide enough, not expansive, in short entirely insufficent. That is what bothers me.

2. It teaches women to aspire to the exception rather than the rule
It is arguable, that for every extraordinary women who becomes renown for her learning and teaching, there are hundreds who are not. But since when have the exceptions become the rule? Since when is every jewish women expected to become Devorah Ha'Naviah, or Nechama Lebowitz or the Maid of Lublin? They themselves refused to be drawn as rolemodels. Devorah herself is first and foremost described as Eishet Lapidot.

This is just as damaging as teaching all boys that they should become the Rosh Yeshiva.

3. It demeanes the imporatant accomplishments of those who have more conventional roles.

There is no one regarded as less interesting or important than a housewife, these days. As I speak to various women, I see the wince of anticipation in their eyes as I ask them what they do with their time? But who else creates people?! The schools, yeah, between history and english and math, there of personal classes [rolls eyes], the government, G-d protect us from such, the media, G-d forbid. Who is the one who takes essentially a little puppy of a two year old and transforms them into a human being, forget all the effort that it takes to get to two years anyway.

These women deserve better than to be told, that their role and their contribution is too... restrictive.

In short,
rather than make a great strum und drang about roles and expansiveness and restrictness just...
Love Kindness, Do Justice and walk humbly with the L-rd, your G-d.

1 I have decided not to use a title invented by the Reform in the 1800's to distinguish themselves by those they were trying to ossificate


  • In my opinion, We Jewish women should appreciate what we have instead of looking at what others have. For example, we do chesed projects, we prepare the house for shabbos, we bring in shabbos by light the candles and making a blessing. We give birth and raise the next generation, which is a very big mitzva. And even those who don't have kids or are not married still do a lot, like helping the community etc.

    By Anonymous malka, at 2:00 PM, November 25, 2005  

  • Hear, Hear! Lovely post.

    By Blogger EN, at 3:49 PM, November 25, 2005  

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