Women and men have equal but different missions in life, each pursuing their own path to holiness. For women to adopt the lifestyle of men is not only contrary to their nature and divinely given task, but betrays a lack of self-respect for their own dignity and worth. Do women occupy a position in Judaism inferior to men? Does Torah and the lifestyle it mandates discriminate against women? Some people apparently believe so, for under the banner of women’s liberation efforts are being made to free women from what is perceived as their unequal status in Jewish law. The call for equal rights is a persuasive one. All people are created in the image of G-d, and no person, and certainly not a whole category of people, should be subjected to unjust and unequal treatment. And, it is claimed, Jewish women labor under just such inequalities. Judaism, advocates of changes say, discriminates against women in both lifestyle and observance of Jewish ritual. (Jewish lifestyle, of course, is prescribed by Jewish law as is Jewish ritual, and it is impossible to detach one from the other.. But for the sake of clarity we shall treat each as a separate item.) Of the former, the discriminatory practice most often cited is that while men enter the workforce, women traditionally have kept the home, raising children. Examples of the latter are the inability of women to be called up for an aliyah to the Torah or to be counted as part of theminyan. Is there any substance to these charges? Different But Equal
Torah, certainly, assigns different roles to men and women. But different does not mean unequal, equality is not sameness. In the divine plan for creation, men and women have distinct, diverse missions, which work in harmony, complementing one another and bringing the divine plan to fruition. The role of one is neither higher nor lower than the other’s: they are simply different. If we were to measure tasks, that of the woman would rank the highest, in terms of self-fulfillment,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document