Although the Jewish world is still reeling from the murders of the three Israeli boys, there have been lots of other things cooking on the interwebs.
1. Rabbah Sara Hurwitz
Orthodoxy’s first female [fill in word of choice here] came to Cleveland to speak recently, sparking locally a huge wave of controversy that is brewing within the larger Orthodox world. Here’s another response to the issue in general.
As an aside, I find it interesting that while in English, our language is moving more toward gender-neutrality, Hebrew will never be gender-neutral. Therefore, while in English, the word “rabbi” has been broadened to include women, in Hebrew a new, gender-specific noun must be chosen, and what that noun will be is still under debate.
That said, here’s what I posted on Facebook on the subject (granted, in the middle of a conversation):
…another important question that I believe is underlying this entire discussion. It also will clarify why I don’t have a problem with men running the show in established clergy positions. That is: are you willing to accept the status quo in normative Orthodox Judaism, or are you seeking to push the boundaries to where they have not been before? I am not casting aspersion on the second option, but I will say that if your starting point is that women should have as great a role as possible within clergy then no one should be surprised when that endeavor is met with resistance and push back. I accept the status quo and proceed from there. I don’t feel I ever got mixed messages since we didn’t learn Gemara as a subject as I was never taught that men and women do the same things. Am I stupider or happier? Pathetic for not questioning and pushing the status quo, or more fulfilled internally for it? I guess everyone can make their own judgments. I’ll say this. I feel that I am reaching my potential as a Jewish woman leader doing exactly what I’m doing. I find no boundaries or frustrations. That is my experience, for whatever it’s worth.
2. Israel’s Special Ed Unit
Grab some tissues, because you’ll need them for this. Seriously, is there ANY country like Israel???
3. Your Life In Weeks
Not specifically Jewish, but this was a good piece of mussar – wisdom that helps remind you why you’re here on this earth.
4. Oprah Learns About Sabbath
I found this video interesting from a Shabbat-observant perspective, of course, but a little cheesy from the Oprah perspective. I like Oprah a lot actually, but what does she mean she didn’t “know” Sabbath was on Saturday? Wouldn’t you just say you didn’t know it was “originally” on Saturday, until Christians changed it to Sunday? There was one line in there that I loved – something like, if a door opens for you, and your faith doesn’t fit through that door, don’t walk through that door. In any case, this is a cool guy (who is apparently famous) standing up for his religious values in Hollywood. Thumbs up from me, for sure.