Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's logic got to do with it?

Start here, and pay particular attention to the comments.

As far as I can determine, the difference that most of the women of our local synagogue perceive between women being counted for a minyan and women being given aliyot is that being counted for a minyan requires nothing other than showing up, whereas getting an aliyah means actually doing something.

It has been remarked that some of the senior women who can't read Hebrew feel hesitant about reciting b'rachot (blessings) in front of the congregation even though there's an English-alphabet transliteration on the "b'rachot card," whereas some of our less-literate men feel no compunction about possibly stumbling over the Hebrew in public. But some of the senior women who can read Hebrew are no less uncomfortable about having aliyot. It's just too much of a change for them.


Blogger chava said...

It's hard not to comment without judging rather harshly.

If anyone is uncomfortable receiveing an aliyah, they are free to refuse it.

Barring all women because a few are uncomfortable really makes no sense. I am starting to understand why this particular congregation is on its deathbead.
I can respect an Orthodox shul that excludes women on the basis of halacha, even though I think they're wrong. I can respect a Reform shul that allows non-Jewish spouses to "share" an aliyah with their Jewish partner, because they don't consider halacha binding, even though I think they're wrong. But rules without any halachic basis in a congregation that pretends to care about halacha is simply not compelling.

I know there are many communities that have the same issues, determining practice based on the "comfort" of its members, but it's still wrong. Shul shouldn't make you feel comfortable. It should startle you, push you to better, stronger, more literate. Otherwise, how can one hope for growth?

Wed Nov 17, 01:55:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

". . . rules without any halachic basis in a congregation that pretends to care about halacha is simply not compelling."

You'll get no argument from me, Chava. Unfortunately, most of the women who are/were interested in having aliyot are either no longer living in our neighborhood, no longer attending our synagogue on a regular basis, or now attending ”Congregation B’nei Akiva”.

Wed Nov 17, 03:23:00 PM 2010  
Blogger elf's DH said...

From the perspective of the congregation, old-style pre-egalitarian "traditional Conservative" Judaism (which is what it appears this congregation has only partially come out of) is not based on halacha. It's based on continuing folk traditions. That's why it sometimes comes to more stringent conclusions than liberal Orthodoxy and/or those conclusions don't follow logically from from the traditions' origins.

Thu Nov 18, 01:29:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Old-style pre-egalitarian 'traditional Conservative' Judaism" is based on folk traditions, not halachah? I hadn't thought of it quite that way. But you may very well have a point, elf's DH.

Thu Nov 18, 01:49:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Whatever said...

Bunch of nonsense. Women weraing tefillin is about as funny as allowing homos and lesbos and even goyim into a shul, as well as their homo rabbis and birth ceremonies and all that other crap. Just go to shul and walk your husband home and get the cholent on the table and stop all this narishkeit.

Wed Dec 29, 11:29:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

My bet: My bet: Tzadik, who commented here, Justa Joo (and maybe Gaon), who commented here, and Whatever, all of whom published their comments yesterday, are all the same person.

Thu Dec 30, 06:05:00 AM 2010  

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