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▪ This should be seen as a Modern Orthodox credo on women’s issues: Why A Gendered Judaism Makes Sense
Criminals in Our Midst
▪ On changing Reform synagogue dues structures: When Jews Choose Their Dues
MTA Student Akiva Pudell Saves a Life at Marathon, Then Completes Race
▪ Orthodox Jewish newspapers: Despite challenges, frum print media still strong
▪ As unfair as it is for a community to be blamed for the actions of individuals, this is one of the main reasons for the cutting of kollel funds and the drafting of yeshiva students: Ultra-Orthodox Beit Shemesh man beats woman over skirt length
IDF publishes ‘Ten Commandments for haredi soldier’
▪ Limitations on kosher slaughter or circumcision are equivalent to telling Jews to give up their religion or leave the country: Rabbi: Danish zoo killings reveal truth of shechitah ban
▪ They may be united but they are far from unanimous: Rabbis Issue United Call to Establish Synagogue on Temple Mount

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

4 comments

  1. re: modern orthodox credo on gender issues…

    “Most people agree that it makes sense to have some distinctions between men and women, therefore any and all distinctions in halachah between men and women make sense” is not a valid argument. More of a “kaneh” to push away annoying middle school questions, but what would they say to a better formulation of the question a few years down the line?

    The article does at most what the headline promises – explain why “a gendered judaism makes sense” to your average person. What it does not do:

    (1) explain why the _particular_ gendered norms we have are correct. I am fine to sign on to some loose statement along the lines of “we should not expect a completely androgynous society” but that does not mean I want to daven in a balcony, or be excluded from a Daf Yomi shiur, or wear tights in the summer, or any number of other things that may or may not be required by halachah.

    (2) speak to those who do not uncritically follow the gender norms of general society. Speaking for myself, I did not receive an engagement ring, and I am not happy that childhood is increasing pink/blue binary, for both functional and ideological reasons.

    I agree that those of us who call orthodoxy to task for some of its gender issues need to do the same for general society, but in my experience we do.

  2. I generally agree with Emma’s first point – I think the bulk of the discussion today is designed to make the point that if the push for change is coming from an “egalitarianism vincet omni” position, orthodoxy will never be able to satisfy that push. If there was a rabbinic feeling that this was not where a critical mass of the push was coming from, there would be a much greater flexibility in meeting the requested reevaluations.

  3. The article was written for a non-Orthodox audience, not for Young Israel members who are considering breaking away and starting a partnership minyan. Hence, and as can be seen from some of the comments, people really do believe that there ought to be no enforced role differences between men and women. The article advises them to, inter alia, (1) get a life, and (2) stop applying a double standard wherein Judaism is required to be more egalitarian than one’s day-to-day life.

    • “a double standard wherein Judaism is required to be more egalitarian than one’s day-to-day life”

      I don’t think your average Conservative jew is demanding that at all. Hence the lack of widespread objection to, for example, the Conservative movement’s own lack of 100% egalitarianism in practice. But none of the examples from the secular world involve women being told, categorically, that there is something that they may not do. I can say as a professional woman that, while my profession is hardly egalitarian (disproportionately male in the high status positions), there was never a time where I could not do something simply because I was a woman. In orthodoxy, such moments abound.

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