life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, March 4, 2016

Didn't we already win that battle?

Last night I felt like I'd stepped back into the past by about 20 years.

I've posted before about modern Judaism, how, with the exception of the Orthodox movements, synagogues have become egalitarian.  How women are counted in the minyan, how our sons and daughters get the same religious education with the same expectations, how women have become clergy, and personal issues, like how I made the decision to start wearing a tallit, how I took my friend to my synagogue because she couldn't say Kaddish for her mother in her own Orthodox shul.

Last night, I had to pay a shiva call.  A good friend's brother-in-law passed away.   The family belongs to a large Conservative synagogue.   It is customary, when a family is sitting shiva, that the synagogue members come to the house of mourning each night to say prayers.  A minyan -- a quorum of 10 adults -- is required.  When I arrived last night, I told my friend's mother that I one of the reasons I had come was to make sure they'd have a minyan.  And she replied that her synagogue does not count women in the minyan.

When I go to an Orthodox function, and the men and women pray in separate groups, well, that's how they want it.  Not my battle.  But in a Conservative synagogue?  I thought that battle had been fought, and won, a long time ago. 

Yeah, I was irritated.  Annoyed.  And just a bit offended.


bookworm said...

Songbird, when I (Jewish, but from a basically non-religious family) married (a Catholic) in 1974, I left the faith at that point. No wait, it was even before then, mentally. I was brought up in the tradition of women sitting in the balcony of the synagogue, behind a curtain. That's when I realized I didn't want to spend my life hidden behind a curtain. At that time, females could never be rabbis, either. They couldn't get a divorce (and I swore never to be married in a Jewish religious ceremony). When I was at a bar mitzvah in 2000 (Reform) and one of my female cousins wore tallit, I thought things had changed. Obviously not. At least we have a female rabbi here in Binghamton. Alana

songbird's crazy world said...

Yes, Alana, I know how you feel.

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