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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Tempting. To go. To just go. To buy a ticket, hop on a plane, and go to Israel.

That was my first reaction when reading the following post up on RivkA’s, z”l, site:

At RivkA’s family’s request, the shiva hours have been changed:

The family would like to eat/rest between 12:00-15:00 and 18:30-19:30
(i.e. no visitors at these times).

Also, please no visitors after 22:00 pm.

Thank you for all your visits, condolences, emails and support.

Tefilot / Prayer times:

Shacharit – 7:00am [Help is needed strengthening the morning minyan]
Mincha – 16:40pm
Maariv – 17:20pm

May RivkA’s family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Please daven (or send happy thoughts) for the memory of RivkA bat Yishaya.

With love and optimism, RivkA’s family

I mean, I’m not really a morning person, but with the time difference and everything, I could be at 7:00am Shacharit and be counted.


Except that I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t count towards the minyan because RivkA, z”l, and her family are Orthodox. And women don’t count.

OK — that’s misleading. We count as human beings. We count as Jews. We count as playing an essential role in life. And in traditional Judaism, it comes down to roles. Men and women each have their assigned roles and religious obligations. Everyone knows what is expected — and it keeps things running smoothly.

Whether or not I agree with the roles is irrelevant in this case. To impose my community’s mores and customs on another is presumptuous. Just as it would be chutzpadik for an Orthodox Jew to walk into my shul and demand, among many other things, that women and men sit separately.

IF I had the wherewithal to drop everything and go to Israel, I would go because I would count. Maybe not for a minyan. But I would be counted among the myriads who have gone to Jerusalem to support the family and mourn the loss of a bright light.

May her name always be sweet on the lips of those who knew her.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 4 November 2010 6:58 am

    and I don’t know about you, but I have at least 10 friends who are on the right-now CCAR trip…so I’m reading about all their escapades in Israel…we could’ve been there too! (Okay, probably not. But you know what I mean.)

    And I agree with you – sometimes you don’t have to be counted in the minyan to matter.

    • Thursday, 4 November 2010 5:02 pm

      Are they blogging about the CCAR trip anywhere? I’d love to read if they are…

  2. Thursday, 4 November 2010 7:02 am

    You might not be a morning person, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a mourning person.

  3. Thursday, 4 November 2010 8:05 am

    The role of women in Judaism in the public sense (by that I mean not as part of the family unit but as part of the community) has changed and should change because of the very different opportunities we have in the modern (post-modern?) era. RivkA, in spite of being Orthodox, would have understood your reaction well. But RivkA was also in search of alternatives and I described Shirat Sara the women’s prayer group of which RivkA was a member in my post
    As you said in your comment, being equal does not always mean being the same.

  4. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Thursday, 4 November 2010 9:57 am

    כל הכבוד


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