The attempt to dismantle patriarchy does not necessarily imply hatred for ultra-Orthodox Jews. Rather it is an urgent task that extends to all spheres of daily life. A response to Orly Noy. My colleague Orly Noy, whose thinking and writing I greatly value, wrote an article entitled “Let’s fight women’s oppression without demonizing ultra-Orthodox.” After reading Orly’s arguments carefully, I found that I disagree with nearly all of them except perhaps the title. I do not support demonizing ultra-Orthodox Jews or any other group. But even my agreement with the title is qualified, since the issue at hand is everyone’s problem.…Read More... | 3 Comments
The struggle against women's oppression is one thing, but painting an entire group as barbarians in the name of 'enlightened' ideas is another thing. One can argue over whether asking a woman to move seats so that an ultra-Orthodox man does not have to sit beside her is a legitimate request. Clearly, the trend to remove women from public spaces has to be resisted. But to characterize this confrontation as "the war between light and darkness" is wrong. [tmwinpost] The incident in question, which took place on El Al flight 028 from Newark to Tel Aviv was seemingly minor: a flight attendant asked an…Read More... | 1 Comment
If we succeeded at pushing the government to find a solution on a matter as sensitive as the Western Wall, then we can also push Israel's leadership — from a perspective of self interest — to make other, equally positive decisions. By Batya Kallus Last Sunday, following a 27-year struggle by Women of the Wall, the Israeli government approved a plan to create a new pluralistic, egalitarian and feminist plaza alongside the ultra-Orthodox prayer plaza at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This is first and foremost a victory for Jewish feminists. But imagine — a group of Jewish religious women…Read More...
Anat Hoffman, longtime crusader for the advancement of progressive Judaism in Israel and a tireless activist for the rights of women to partake in religious traditions, was arrested last month while saying the Shma prayer at the Western Wall. Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and one of the founders of Women of the Wall (and a former Jerusalem City councilwoman) is no stranger to the law: it was the sixth time she has been arrested. Yet she says she has never been charged. When I interviewed her nine days later at a conference in Germany,…Read More... | 16 Comments
Last week, Israel celebrated Shavuot, the holiday on which we read the Book of Ruth. The following is a take on how correspondence between Anat Hoffman of the Israel Religious Action Center and the Ministry of Interior would look like if the Biblical Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David and Judaism’s first convert, were to be seeking legal status in Israel today. Chag sameach! Attn: Mr. Eli Yishai* Minister of Interior Kaplan 2 Jerusalem Dear Sir, Re: Ruth the Moabite – Request to Obtain Permanent Status in Israel Our client, Ruth the Moabite, is the non-Jewish widow of a Jewish husband,…Read More... | 5 Comments
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