Friday, December 05, 2008

Criminal negligence: Women's section as deathtrap

From Miriam Shaviv, the same person who brought us the first part of this story, comes the stunning sequel.

Actually, I can't seem to access Miriam's new blog at the Jewish Chronicle site at the moment, but thanks to reading her post, I finally caught up with this old news (ah, here's Miriam's post): Apparently, one congregation in Israel had the brilliant idea that the women should be locked into the women's section if they don't leave the synagogue before the Aleinu prayer, so as to prevent mingling of the sexes outside of the synagogue after services. Leaving aside the blatant sexism, disrespect, and lack of consideration involved in such a decision, hasn't it ever occurred to whomever made this decision that locking people inside a building creates a safety hazard that could, in case of a fire, earthquake, or other disaster, result in their deaths?! Whoever made this decision should be prosecuted!


Blogger Unknown said...


Thank you so much for linking my post! What a nice thing to do . . . and also to keep on top of Miriam's situation. She is a friend and a Woman of Valor. Nice blog, BTW.

Sat Dec 06, 06:51:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Rahel Jaskow said...

As I said in response to Miriam Shaviv's post: We have made the concept of modesty into an avodah zarah -- an idol. It is only a matter of time before we start making real, flesh-and-blood sacrifices to it as well.

Mon Dec 08, 07:11:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Michelle, I'm always happy to link to a good post.

Rahel, chas v'chalila (rough translation: Heaven forbid! I certainly hope not!) But I fear that you may be right. I published this post as a danger warning and a public service--I really do hope that the folks who made and/or enforce this decision will be arrested and procecuted for endangering human lives.

Your point, that the concept of tznuit/modesty has become avodah zarah/idol worship, seems quite accurate as concerns some of the more right-wing sectors of the Orthodox community. I find it truly frightening that people would jeopardize women's lives without a thought just to spare men a moment's temptation, which any individual old enough to experience temptation should be old enough--and responsible enough--to deal with appropriately. (I've asked this before and I'll ask it again: Why do some of the more right-wing Orthodox rabbis treat their fellow males as if they were all overgrown babies unable to control themselves?) I've been known to ask, as concerns this obsession with women as sex objects, "Who died and left us in charge?," my point being that every individual is responsible for his or her own sins. Actions such as this one flip that question on its head: In this case, it's perfectly obvious who's in charge--do some of us have to die as a result?

Mon Dec 08, 11:16:00 AM 2008  

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