January 16, 2019

Jewish Law Is for Women, Too

“I spend a lot of time online. It’s one of the best ways to keep up with life, trends, and events, both here and abroad. In my opinion, the most frenetic platform for conversation, by far, is Twitter. There, people around the world discuss everything from the Women’s March and BDS to anti-Semitism and Jewish life — all in snippets of 280 characters. It’s fast, often emotionally charged, and has a tone all its own.

This erev Christmas, Ben Shapiro, the Orthodox Jewish conservative commentator, joked with his followers: ”All right, fellow Jews, since we’ll have Twitter all to ourselves tomorrow, what should we talk about?”

Rabbi Gil Student responded, suggesting a classic talmudic conundrum: If an ox gored a cow and the cow’s newly born offspring was found dead at its side, and it is not known if the cow gave birth before or after the ox gored, what should the ox’s owner pay in damages?

I entered the impromptu beit midrash with my own suggestion. “Gored oxes are great, classic. But I suggest that we use our collective knowledge, passion & stage to address an actual problem. So, the erasing of Jewish women is becoming more & more prevalent. I’d like to see Jewish men take a stand & actively push back against it. Thoughts?” (Tweets are not editable, so my typo remains in the annals of history.)”

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