Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taken aback

See comment.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Keep going.

Fri Apr 24, 09:03:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Please have patience.

Fri Apr 24, 09:04:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I'm "hiding" this post here to preserve what's left of my anonymity at the office, since anything written in the comments section is invisible onscreen unless the reader clicks on it.

The Bet Midrash (roughly, study hall) that doubles as a minyan room in our office is not particularly large, and gets pretty packed for Minchah (Afternoon Service). Occasionally, when I miss our Women's Tehillim (Psalms) Group, which meets in another room, and don't stay there afterward to davven (pray) Minchah, I wait until after 3 to davven Minchah in the hope that the men will all have left by then and I'll be able to davven in the Bet Midrash in the presence of a sefer Torah (roughly, handwritten Bible scroll) and without distraction. (Ever try davvening on a stairway landing?)

Yesterday, upon returning from davvening in the Bet Midrash, I told my Orthodox officemate that it was really a shame there wasn't enough room in the Bet Midrash for a mechitzah. Her response was, "There's also only one door." At first, I wondered why she was suddenly concerned about a possible fire hazard, since none of the rooms in our office has more than one door. Then it hit me--she meant that there wasn't a separate entrance for women. After a moment's thought, I told her that, in all my years of "shul-hopping" to Orthodox synagogues, I'd never davvened in a synagogue that had a separate entrance for women, and probably wouldn't be comfortable davvening in any shul that was that right-wing. Apparently, she's more right-wing than I'd realized.

Fri Apr 24, 09:04:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

I have to share this episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie with you. It is in three parts, the link I provide is to part 1.

Fri Apr 24, 03:45:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I watched the clip. This must be the Muslim equivalent of the "Chumrah-of-the Month Club."

*chumrah = a practice that is stricter than what is required by Jewish religious law/halachah. I'm not sure about this, but the Ashkenazi practice of banning kitniyot--corn, rice, beans, seeds, etc.--on Pesach may be a chumrah, since, according to halachah, only wheat, rye, oats, barley and spelt, and products made from them, can be chametz.

Perhaps the growing penchant among very-right-wing Orthodox women to dress in black and white only, presumably for the sake of modesty (as if having one's collarbone, elbows, and knees covered doesn't make one modest enough already), is a chumrah.

Fri Apr 24, 07:08:00 PM 2009  

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