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Author:  Artie
E-mail:  bassarooz@aol.com
Date:  11/1/2003 9:43:00 PM
Subject:  Shelo Asani Isha
Message:  Rabbi,

Many women in our synagogue attend the daily minyan. They have told the Rabbi that they find the bracha shelo asani isha to be hurtful and offensive. The Rabbi has now told the baal tefila to say this particular bracha quietly, and all the rest out loud. What do you think of this?
   
Reply:  He should have explained it to them. Everyone has their piece of this world. God made this world with a plan & a system. The woman is an integral part of this. This blessing is not an issue of inferiority, but rather a very simple concept. The Jewish men & women say each morning a blessing that "God did not make them a non-Jew," who would only have the seven Commandments. The men must make the blessing thanking God, that he did not make them a woman, which is in essence praising and thanking God for giving him all those Commandments that woman do not have, like reading Shema, wearing Teffilen, Shaking Lulav, and so on. The fact is a fact, these laws were not given to women. Men must be grateful for the extra Mitzvot given to them. The Torah & our religion respects and defines a clear difference between men & women. There are differences between leaves and rocks. Does that mean that one is better than the other? God has a master plan, a system of how the world works. Each of us has our piece. Each is judged in his/her role. Let me show you a small example, a king orders his subjects in a specific town to build him a bridge. The local architect is responsible for the plans. The farmer is expected to handle the testing of the ground. The Mason is getting his cement trucks rolling. Even the local painter is out mixing colors to get that perfect shade. Each will be judged by his/her niche and the efforts and successes made in their exclusive areas. So who is the better one. Now that architect might be thrilled and thank the king for giving him such a great deal of responsibility, but in no way is that going to put him above anyone else when the king looks at the results. On the contrary, he has higher odds that he will mess up. Just one pillar is placed two feet in the wrong direction and the bridge collapses. Off with his head! The men should say their blessing with pride, and the women should say a resounding Amen, praising God for formulating such a wonderful world and giving us the opportunity as a team to build that bridge. And the non-Jew should be saying Amen on both blessings, and be thrilled to have his place in the process, and to go about diligently keeping the seven Commandments that were given to him. Adam, our first ancestor, was initially given only one commandment. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and on, until Mount Sinai had barely any Commandments. Where they any less than us? This women's lib thing needs to be put into proper perspective. #1) if the Torah were to say women are inferior, well, so be it. & guess what. If the torah said men are inferior, or Irish are inferior, or all people with large noses are inferior, then that's life. But that is not what it says. That is not the case. Don't adjust the religion to comfort people. Teach the people. Explain it to them. #2) To deny the difference between men & women is silly, self destructive, and wrong. To expect equality in certain specific areas, where it makes sense, sure, go for it. Women should vote. Women should be able to drive, to smoke (before we found out the dangers), to go swimming, to eat in restaurants, and so on. But women should not have pushed themselves into the full time workforce without a plan. Now we have women giving birth to children, passing them to the housekeeper or childcare center, going right back to work, coming home and cooking, and having a nervous breakdown at 23 years old. Why? Because we are obsessed with stupidity. If you need the money, struggle away. That's the package God gave you. If not, stay home. Follow the nature that God created. The baby needs the mommy, and the mommy needs the baby. If God didn't create those feelings, each mother would leave their babies and goodbye. So God gave us parents the feelings to desperately want to hold, caress, and take care of this little creature. Fighting nature is never too healthy. Women have been mistreated, and fight the true issues. But be realistic and intelligent and don't just create the image that men and women are exactly alike.
AA

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