Best Of The Web
“In Modern Orthodox minyanim today, it is increasingly common for women to carry the Torah through the women’s section. However, even in minyanim where this is allowed, there is a reluctance on the part of many women to accept this honor. A common refrain is a fear of dropping the Torah. However, I don’t think that this wariness toward carrying the Torah stems solely from a fear of dropping it; a combination of factors limits Orthodox women’s exposure to the Sefer Torah, creating an unspoken taboo and innate wariness.
I have never heard a man refuse to carry the Sefer Torah because he is afraid that he will drop it. The fear of holding the Torah is ingrained into Orthodox women throughout their lives, sustained by the rarity of such opportunities. Orthodox women’s lack of experience holding the Sefer Torah makes them feel nervous about interacting with it, unlike men who have these experiences all the time.
Reluctance to participate in rituals isn’t an issue solely on the female side of the mechitzah. On the men’s side, it’s not always easy to find volunteers to leyn or daven daily. Nonetheless, men’s reticence to lead davening isn’t an exact parallel to women’s reluctance to carry the Sefer Torah. Carrying the Torah requires neither expertise nor practice, whereas leading davening is more skill-based. Presumably, most of the men who decline to daven worry that they don’t know the tefillot well enough to lead; this issue shouldn’t apply to women who decline the honor of carrying the Torah.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."
"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."
"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."
"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."
"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."
"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."
"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."
"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."