Progress Report: The Worried Waiting of West Side Jewish Women

Our question lately is, if Orthodox Judaism says that modesty is such a virtue, then why is it imposed upon women and not men? Shouldn't men also be modest in all the ways they require women to be? Why not?

We posted this below four years ago, 3/3/08. Is there any progress to report after four years? Looks to us like lately Orthodox women are losing ground, not making progress. Here is our question from 2008.

What do women want? On the West Side of Manhattan, Orthodox Jewish women apparently want to wait for some imaginary time when they will be accepted as equals to their male counterparts.

All the men have to do is to say yes, women are equal, and that will be the end of the struggle. Ha'aretz reports....
Who's that woman in the pulpit?
By Shmuel Rosner

NEW YORK - She waits patiently for the end of the service before going up to the synagogue's pulpit. This is the policy and she respects it. Women are not allowed there until the service has been completed. This is how it was before her, and this is the custom now. Her husband doesn't get it - he thinks that she ought to propose a change. But Elana Stein Hain is not in any hurry. "Caution" is the key word in a conversation with her that took place recently in Manhattan's Upper West Side. This caution "is the only way for me to be effective," she said.

She is part of a new fashion that is getting quite a lot of attention in modern Orthodox circles in America, an offshoot of one of the few trends that are occurring almost simultaneously in America and Israel - the Orthodox women's revolution. Or to use plain English: women taking key, quasi-rabbinic roles in synagogues. They are almost rabbis, but not really. Or maybe really, but just not called by that name. They deliver sermons, but they cannot lead prayers, nor can they officiate at weddings. But maybe at other ceremonies: for example, funerals...more...


Anonymous said...

What a funny thing. I, being a girl, am not a feminist but I do appreciate my freedoms from oppression from the opposite gender.

But if I know something about a subject I will most likely participate in a conversation about the subject. And if I hold a surmountable amount of knowledge on the subject than the average bear, then I might be prompted to teach others the truth of the subject to those who might otherwise hold little to no knowledge on the subject.

Who knows?

Esser Agaroth said...

Esser Agaroth: Rashi's Daughters