Imagine a world where any time you, a man, saw a woman, you’d begin to think of sex. Imagine a world where any time you heard a woman, especially in prayer, your attention would wander from the prayer and focus on, well, sex. Imagine a bus ride where a woman sat next to, in front of or behind you and in combination with the rocking motion of the bus, your mind suddenly filled with thoughts of…sex. Think of a walk down a sidewalk, past a woman wearing a short sleeved shirt when first your mind races to think of sex and immediately converts the thought to the action of spitting on her.

All those wasted erections…

It seems that some folks do not wish to see any women any time, because their strong sex drives compel them to think of any and every woman as a moving target. “Wow, there’s a female homo sapien! Boing!” of course, they dress this up as seeking decency, but in reality it is indecent to reduce females simply to sexual beings. Perhaps if within some of these communities women were allowed to become rabbis and learned torah scholars, they would be perceived as more than just these fuckable objects. Maybe.

Why do I risk the wrath of Laya and a few others for being critical of those Orthodox Jews who have pushed women out of their sight so that their desire, drooling and instantaneous erections would be avoided? Because the Western Wall belongs to all Jews and not only the Orthodox. They have already pushed the women at the Kotel to a small section where they are segregated from the men, but now are seeking to avoid seeing the women even at the entrance to the area leading to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism for all Jews.

A plan put forward by a haredi deputy minister would completely segregate the main entry-point to the Western Wall, in the latest Jewish controversy over the division of sexes at the Jerusalem holy site, officials said Thursday.

The proposal presented by Deputy Transportation Minister Shmuel Halpert of the United Torah Judaism Party, which is currently being studied by the rabbi of the Western Wall and Jerusalem police, would see the central entry-way to both the Western Wall and the Western Wall plaza entirely separated by sex.

At present, signs reading men and women appear at the main security check at the entrance to the Jerusalem holy site, but the directives are not rigorously enforced.

“I am acting on behalf of thousands of haredim who frequent the site daily who complain of the physical interaction with women,” Halpert said in a telephone interview Thursday.

So tells us Jerusalem Post today. Of course, there are all kinds of non-Orthodox groups up in arms over this, but there’s a good chance it will happen. If it does, I would hope that every woman in Israel sidle up to a haredi man on a bus, because they won’t be getting any of that action at the Kotel and might be missing it.

Tomorrow I shall be hearing a woman sing at my Conservative synagogue. I sure hope I can control myself.

About the author

themiddle

46 Comments

  • While I disagree with the Muddled attempt to insert internecine venom into this topic – I agree with the general, uh, thrust of this post. Enough is enough. There is no halachic basis for such extreme segregation in a public area.

  • I’ve been following this story for the past few days, and while I was as shocked as you were when I originally heard about the proposed plan, when the details were actually outlined, it doesn’t seem as bad as you might think.
    The Plaza area will remain mixed. The haredim will still have to live with that. Their appeal asks that the entrances remain separate; i.e., that the security checks be segregated. The current system has separate entrances, but it is overwhelmingly not adhered to. It is those tiresome lines waiting to be asked “?נשק יש” that they want segregated. Not the plaza.
    Really not so bad.

  • TM,

    You know that there is a differece between Charedi and Orthodox. In fact, there is very little in common between normative (Modern) Orthodox and Charedi.

    I can’t help but wonder if perhaps you are driven to lumping these very, very, different groups together into one out of your own hopes to justify a deviant movement (I mean that with all due respect) you perhaps subscribe to.

  • Why do I risk the wrath of Laya and a few others for being critical of those Orthodox Jews who have pushed women out of their sight so that their desire, drooling and instantaneous erections would be avoided?

    Why? Why do you feel the need to publicly group me into a group of fanatics, just because I have in the past strongly asked for nuance, understanding and an open mind when criticizing a lifestyle you don’t understand.

    If you can’t respect their lifestyle, how dare you bitch that they don’t respect yours. Understanding of the other goes both ways.

    It’s really insulting to publicly group me with people who by your description are nothing short of misogynists. You know my feelings on women in Judaism are complex, or you should know by now if you read my posts on the subject. But thanks for making me look like a simple minded follower or an anachronistic faith. Whatever, i don’t even care anymore. Say whatever the fuck you want.

    By the way – Middle, how many times a day do YOU think about sex?

  • but in reality it is indecent to reduce females simply to sexual beings. Perhaps if within some of these communities women were allowed to become rabbis and learned torah scholars, they would be perceived as more than just these fuckable objects. Maybe. What a seriously inept and mean-spirited understanding of the cultural and religious sensitivities of your people.

    But wait a second, lets look around at the culture in the Good Ole’ US of A. You canot open a web page without a naked women being thrust in your face. Every object from cars to soap uses sex to sell. Girls as young as pre-teens are acting out pornography. Women are being judged not by their brain power but their ability to turn guys on. The society is saturated in sexual images of women and women are denigrated and objectified on every level of society.

    Lets see, some men are complaining that they want segregated entrances to enter Judaism’s most holy site….

  • Ummmmm, I cannot vouch for other males out there in JewliciousLand, but, to be honest, it is true that hearing a woman’s voice *in song* at any time arouses me, seeing a woman’s arms or legs arouses me, sheesh, just thinking about women arouses me.

    My wife appreciates it, since my desires are transferred to her, since it would be immoral to act upon those desires otherwise.

    The famous saying “Women give sex for love, and men give love for sex,” is very appropriate here. Although it is a generalization (and we all can think of people who do not fit the stereotype), men react with their “lower brain-housing group” {grin} and women react with their heart. It is up to us, as a pair, to train each other during marriage, in each other’s method of reaction.

    If a man see’s an attractive woman and *DOESN’T* react, then he should probably be seeing a doctor. NOTE: This does not preclude the man attempting to control his reaction. Still, it is understandable from the point of view of one who is attempting to control their yetzer harah, to eliminate the object of their desire from their proximity. For example, one who has a desire for treif food, might request their meal-table-partners to refrain from having such food at the table.

    Of course, all of this is a side issue to your main point. You are upset that a site, holy to Judaism, is under the apparent control of the Orthodox/Charedi. I can understand why you would be upset. To relinquish control to them would mean that you would be validating that they represent Judaism’s connection to holyness. This, obviously, you are not prepared to do. So, you attack them on a side issue that is highly charged emotionally (i.e., sex).

    Rather than using a highly charged emotional issue, wouldn’t it be better to argue rationally about which traditions/groups/others/etc. represent Judaism’s connection to the holy.

  • I agree with your position Middle. I used to think all the covering up and hiding away of woman was to “elevate them”, make them more “special and desirable” and more respectable. But in actually it does make the men think of women as just sex objects and nothing else but erection causers.

  • You mean you don’t think about sex every time you see an attractive, scantily clad woman, Middle?

    There must be something wrong with you. Have you seen a doctor for your condition?

    And, yeah, what Laya said.

  • OK… due to unfairly large barrage of bitching at Middle I feel I should jump in a bit..

    The Kotel is a site that belongs to all Jews, and the fact that one relatively small group of Jew’s somehow manages to dictate the way in which it is managed is repugnent. We need to find a way in which all Jews can be confortable at the kotel.

    Why is it that there can’t be a section of the kotel only for men, a section only for women, (to accomodate the orthodox), and a section for mixed congregations. The majority of Jews in the world are not orthodox, and while orthodoxy deserves respect and sensitivity so do other streams of judaism.

    The inabbility of our community to find ways to coexist while respecting our differences is tearing Israel appart and is becoming widely percieved as a greated threat to israel’s existence than terrorism and external attack.

    thoughts?

  • Tom C,

    You are missing the point. Most of us are “bitching” at TM because he is equating Orthodox jews of every head covering (or no head covering at all) with the most HAREDI Jews on earth.

    As for your postion that “the majority of Jews in the world are not Orthodox,” that is a bit of a misleading statement as well. The majority of Jews outside America may not be practicing Orthodox, but the Judaism they do not practice may, in fact, be Orthodox on many levels, though certainly not Haredi.

    The only sensitivity I am currently demanding is that you don’t put a “chicken is parve” apikorsis like myself in the same category as some All Black, All the Time promoters of an ever stricter interpretation of Judaism.

    I am sure they would appreciate not putting the likes of them with me.

    And we are all, in some way, shape or form, Orthodox.

    Some of us are non-practicing or limited in our practice, some of us are frummer than G-d.

    And we have precious little in common.

  • Um, nobody grouped anybody into a group of fanatics. I expected an attacking response from you, Laya, and a few other regulars, regarding my comments about Orthodox Jews. I didn’t expect you to justify anything but rather to attack me because once again I have pointed out something really shitty some Orthodox Jews are trying to do. We’ve been there before and I was commenting on those previous discussions. So reread the post without the personal anger and move on.

    Oh, and I have no idea how many times a day I think about sex but this discussion alone has made me think of it once or twice. Um, wait, writing that made me think of it again. Uh oh, writing that also made me think of it. Ooh,and again. Whoa, and there I go again. Oh no, again. And again. Please God, make it stop! Uh oh, that made me think of it again.

    Still thinking about it.

    😆

    And yes, Kelsey, I know the difference between charedi and orthodox, and yet I haven’t heard any bitching by Orthodox groups of any kind regarding this move to segregate women from men (again) at the entrance to the holiest site in Judaism.

    Izzy, let’s assume that you are right and we all react to an attractive woman (although this move doesn’t just segregate attractive women but all women), isn’t that then a natural reaction? Isn’t that then part of our make-up as instinctive creatures? And if so, wouldn’t any Orthodox Jew claim that this is the way that God made us? And if so, what’s this business with segregation when we should be revelling in the joy of endless erections and “reactions” when we see women.

    Him, you are extraordinarily perceptive. On the basis of that comment, you may wish to join the Bush administration and advise them to attack Iraq with the smallest possible force they can muster.

    Ben David! We agree on something!

    Ephraim, I don’t know about you, my man, but I’m old enough that it’s irrelevant when women enter a gate to the Kotel next to me because all I really care about is my future fuzzy logic rice cooker.

    Chutzpah, of course you feel this way, having been a woman and wife living in that universe. Shame on you for actually believing that men objectify women.

    Rabbi, we agree that our secular Western culture objectifies women and promotes sexuality, at least to some degree. So what? This is the holiest site for both Jewish men and women. Women have already been pushed to a corner at the Kotel and this is merely another action in the same vein.

    My suggestion is that instead of segregating women and forcing those men who aren’t troubled by the presence of a woman, why not simply segragate the Haredim? Give them a small side entrance to the site, preferably in some sort of tunnel with poor lighting and no images on the walls that could, you know, distract them. Let them make their way to the Kotel that way instead of making other people change their way of life for them. This is their problem, after all, not that of the women or those men who think that (1) just seeing a woman is not a cause for a sexual reaction, and (2) even if it is, there is nothing inherently bad about that (we Jews do not subscribe to the views of Augustine, do we?).

    For heaven’s sake, people are going to the Kotel to pray and feel a part of something much greater and all these folks can think about is sex. They should be focusing on the Torah instead.

  • A agree with the general sentiment: Why cover and segregate? Decency is one thing, but is it not a higher honor to control yourself? What is asked of us is self governance as respect to G-d and His laws. It is the man’s responsibility to control his desires and mind, not society’s responsiblity to make sure a man never has to control himself.

    Wow Layla, that was a strong comment. But I completely agree with you about respect and tolerance. It seems those who speak loudest about tolerance and acceptance are the most intolerant of all. Respect goes both ways.

  • … so now it turns out we are talking about the metal-detector lines at the entrance. The whole point of these is that people pass single file – so there is no halachic issue of touching a woman – even less than, say, jostling a woman on a moving bus.

    Sorry, this is in no way connected to halacha. The halacha has rules of modesty – but those rules in no way limit a woman’s freedom to move about in public, to look at people in the face, etc.

    At a certain point a man’s eyes and thoughts are his own responsibility, not womankind’s burden.

  • Men are distracting to women, too.

    They interest you strangely, and, you always have to keep an eye on them, because they are bigger.

    So, it’s a relief to have your own space.

    But not TOO far. Not TOO divided. Not TOO separate. A little.

    A whole, whole lot of mixing of the two genders, with a lot of skin on view, leads to: boredom, irritation, desensitization, disgust, numbness and not marrying. And then, extinction. Just look around.

    Yes, sometimes they go a bit far. But there will always be a divider, a mechitah. Why? Because michitza-less Judaism has no demographic future, that’s why. Go argue with that.

    Is Tom C Jewish? If he is, please excuse. There was another chap named Tom who wasn’t who used to post, just asking.

  • Um, excuse me, who is disrespecting whom? I don’t tell people how they should or shouldn’t dress or believe believe or pray or how they should or shouldn’t react to women. I also don’t tell people that they may not pray next to me or pass a gate next to me at a site that is holy to us both.

    Nope, I’m the guy who thinks anybody should be able to dress, worship, live, love and believe as they wish…as long as it doesn’t infringe on my freedom or that of others. I don’t think that’s disrespectful, quite the opposite.

  • But it does infringe.

    It’s only one side who thinks it does not infringe. The other side feels infringed. It’s not going to go away that easily.

    I was at the Wall and my party respected the two different gates. Why doesn’t everybody? Yes, it’s a wrench to see your men depart to their own gate. For a second, you feel abandonned. But you remind yourself, these divisions are real. Cope, you tell yourself. Be a big girl about it.

  • What is it about facing a crowd of only men, Jewish men, that is weird and scary?

    Why does the intensity have to be diluted by the presence of women to be bearable? A crowd with both sexes becomes just “people” – parve, less charged.

    Nothing personal. I have been wondering that for some time, and it seemed like a good time to mumble it.

    Judaism is not mild stuff. It is and must be charged. You know, Jewlicious. High-fiber.

  • themiddle rejoindered with …

    According to your argument, then, since it is normal to be violent, to steal, to act in an animal fashion, that animalistic level is what should be striven for.

    But, one of the points of Judaism is to convert the energies of the animalistic soul into doing good. But, before doing good, one must stop doing bad. Therefore your argument makes no sense. Judaism is not natural. It goes against nature, especially in that Jews are expected to conquer their animal natures.

  • THE MIDDLE:

    You liberals are un-&%$#ing believable. You bitch about democracy, then you complain when things don’t go your way.

    You would have your way but liberals care more about GIVING AWAY THE LAND OF ERETZ YISROEL than praying at the KOTEL.

    Its simple democracy. The non-orthodox don’t even use the Kotel as much as the Orthodox….. if you don’t believe me, take a look…. WHO IS THERE RIGHT NOW?

  • It’s normal to be violent or to steal?

    I don’t get where you get this. I also don’t understand why you’re rejecting God’s gift to you of having any reaction at all to an attractive woman. Don’t you appreciate the reaction? Are you inclined toward raping her or something, hence the comment about violence?

    It’s like this: there’s a bunch of women over there a few feet over. Some are pretty, some aren’t. Some wear tight fitting clothes and some don’t. Some look like they’re in the prime of their reproductive life and some look as if they’re past or pre that period.

    You, as a person, can choose to view them as women you’d like to fuck or you could view them as women. But if you can’t control your perceptions of these women, why penalize them? I suggest you wear blinders, not unlike a horse’s and make sure that next time you’re at the Kotel, you follow a Haredi man inside. I can assure you that you will not feel your animal instinct rise within you and the women won’t feel that you cannot view them but as sexual objects.

    Adamhman, when do I bitch about democracy and then bitch when things don’t go our way? What are you talking about?

    It’s not ISROEL, it’s ISRAEL – says so right in the bible.

    I don’t think too many of the Haredi Jews demanding that women go off into their little section care too much about GIVING AWAY THE LAND OF ERETZ ISRAEL. Zionism isn’t too high on their list, usually.

    As for democracy, never forget that you can pray at the Kotel openly thanks to all those secular soldiers who risked their lives and limbs to reacquire it for Israel and the Jewish people. IT DOES NOT BELONG TO THE HAREDIM OR ANY ORTHODOX GROUP, IT BELONGS TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE WHETHER YOU LIKE THE WAY THEY DRESS, THEIR SEX OR THEIR LEVEL OF OBSERVANCE.

    Hey it feels good to scream like that. Now I understand why you’re doing it.

  • I spent a lot of time at the Kotel the last two shabbats. That was me, in the long blue skirt and the bright pink coat. Walking backwards, looking a little lost, singing along, but not dancing.

    Eventually the separation got to me, but I accepted that I was in an orthodox shul. The lesson I took from it? Time is holy, not space. Time and people. The Kotel, the way it is set up, seems to really allow people to celebrate the holiness of shabbat.

    It was wierd to me, to have to be seperate from the men. It was wierd to me, to watch how the women line up along the mechiza to listen to the men’s side. That the women sang, but without as much gusto as the men.

    But it was also weird to see men with M-16s dancing hora with the ultra-orthodox.

    It was so much to take in at once. I don’t think more seperation is needed. It seemed to me that folks who find it important to keep shomer negiah (sp?) were able to do that. Same way they did on the El Al flight coming home.

    One interesting comment that a tour guide said on my trip was that the wall was captured by secular jews and turned over to the orthodox and now the secular aren’t comfortable going. That it is a problem that all jews don’t feel welcome at the holiest site. I don’t have a reaction to that comment, but am just sharing it.

    I’ve only been home from J-lem for a day, I’ll process that this week sometime.

  • I can’t believe I’m the first to say this.

    More for me! Tznius chicks are hot (well, luke warm, anyways). Now serving number…

  • First off, the Kotel is not the holiest site in Judaism. The Temple Mount is. The Kotel is important only in its relationship to the Temple Mount.

    Second off, Leah is WRONG. Space is holy, hence the kedushat of Eretz Yisrael. We just forgot that in Galut.

    Third, themiddle is right inasfar as the segregation at the entrances is ridiculous but most non-haredim would agree. As Laya said, there is a difference.

    Forth, the whole idea that “the kotel belongs to everyone” and not all Jews are observant doesn’t fly because the kotel should operate l’fi halakha. Of course, halakha is more flexible than the haredim make it out to be. Just because people violate the law doesn’t mean that the law is still not the law and the law is still not binding. OF course, it’s not the law to push women in dark corners.

    there are a lot of problems in haredi society but it’s not fare to paint the broad brush and say “Orthodox.” (Of course there are lots of problems in O society as well, but same with all artificial denominations).

    the Modern O’s aren’t saying anything for two reasons: they don’t go to the kotel either and they can’t be allying themselves w/ the non-halakhic. Unfortunately, Orthodoxy would be a helluva lot more liberal if it wasn’t for Reform and conservative.

  • I can’t read thru everything right now but…

    Middle, as I have said so many times it hurts, it’s NOT the criticizing that is offensive, but the tone. Really, a smart man like you should be able to understand the difference.

    A smart man like you should also understand the difference between orthodox and Heredi, especially as we have been over it so many times. I mean, when David Kelsey has to stick up for the orthodox, it might be a good hint for you.

    Criticize, fine, but do so fairly. And please, showing a little respect, even when you disagree wouldn’t kill you.

  • OK… so bio on Tom C

    Tom C is a 22 yo Canadian Jew named Tomer, a alumnus of the Community Hebrew Accademy of Toronto, a past hillel executive, a past president of an Israel Activism Club at his university, was raised in Hashomer Hatzair, and is currently very active in the HATIKVA Canada slate for the WZO elections.

    All in all he is a good Jew, with strong inclings towards tradition but a distinctly Israeli-Secular bent. He can argue rashi with the best of them (well maybe not the best), but is secular.

    So yeah… umm… that’s me.

  • themiddle, I think this is the first time a blog has ever made me jump for joy and punch the air! I’m a woman and it isn’t my problem if some men want to over-sexualize my body. I know I am more than the sum of my knees and elbows and collar bones and whether some man chooses to see that or not is his issue.

  • For heaven’s sake, people are going to the Kotel to pray and feel a part of something much greater and all these folks can think about is sex. They should be focusing on the Torah instead.

    Having experienced this issue at my Conservative shul, I must sadly tell you that it’s a bit difficult to “focus on the Torah” when you have to look past the exposed midriff or butt crack of some young woman that has been chosen for the aliah. It’s a shanda and a disgrace to both the Torah and the women that worked hard to earn the right for such honors in the liberal movements.

  • Attention jew occupiers and criminals! We will revenge this attack on Jericho in blood, I swear by god. You will not attack our country once more. Hamas will pay you, Allah is willing. Die terrorists, we will fight our freedom.

  • Gosh, what heroism. Such brave words from Ahmed Saadat, living under the crushing jackboot of Zionist oppression in…Boston. You keep on fighting your freedom, you’ll defeat it eventually at this rate!

  • 1. According to the Yemeni pronunciation (which is regarded to be the most faithful to the original) it is, indeed, IsrOel. But, hey, thanks for that pointless little diversion.

    2. There was a teen-age prostitutes convention in Tel Aviv this week. Oops, I mean “Purim.” Yeah, right, it’s the Haredim that are fucked up.

    3. You display your ignorance when you say Haredim “don’t care” about giving up the land of Israel/Yisroel/whatever. It’s POLITICAL Zionism to which many are indifferent and/or against. And, really, given the current state of Israeli politics, who can REALLY blame them? Their committment to this land is likely stronger than yours.

    4. If you haven’t noticed, American “Kosher-Style” Judaism is going away, primarily through intermarriage.It’s irrelevant. Enjoy your little Reform/Conservative Community Centers while you can.

  • Purim Samayach!!! Happy Purim!!! Let’s remember what this Holiday is all about. There are 2 hero’s one man, one woman, both important, both with different parts to play, different missions. One not better then the other. But most importantly, remember that all Jews were in it together, facing the same external enemy. As a people they came together behind their leaders and achived victory. Mitzvat Aseh Shel V’Ahavta Larecha Kamocha – It is a possitive commandment to love each person like yourself. Achdut People! Come on, how about a little Jewish Unity…

    (As a side note, the army forces that captured yerushaliem and the Kotel/Temple Mount were comprised both of secular and religious soldures working together for a common cause. Funny how successful we can be when we put aside our differences and focus on our shared goals…

    one of the soldures who freed the Kotel (Rabbi Yisrael Ariel) is currently sitting on the new Sanhedrine. You can check it out at: http://www.thesanhedrin.org/en/main/officers.html)

  • TM, I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there too. I’m still there in a way. But for some reason I’m stuck, ‘scuse the pun, in the middle of these two views. I understand the point of separation. But I also see the point in the unfairness of forcible separation, like this whole entrance line stuff.

    I just want to point out that the secular controlling of “animal instincts” whatever they may be (in this case…that group of women that you mentioned) is a part of Judaism as well. Just with a name to it. Secular or not, the point is choice, the choice to restrain. But, it’s more of a law on the Jewish, or rather, more “observant” side of things. Thus, you have all this balagan about forcibly separating men from women. At least, in the lines. The Kotel I can understand. But that horse’s been dead and beaten for years, and several comments.

    Anyway, I see your point, middle. It’s pretty stupid. But don’t count the reasoning out.

  • I got this email from a friend shortly after I posted, I figured I’d share…

    “Ok. A short idea for Purim.
    Haman tells Achashverosh that there is a nation that is scattered and divided in his land. He was, of course, referring to the Jews. When Esther was going to go see Achashverosh, she asked Mordechai to gather all the Jews together to fast. Some say that her point was to repent for us being divided. We should all come together and rally around one thing.
    If Purim is supposed to be about coming together, then we find a peculiar thing. Some Jews read the megillah on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar. And some who live in walled cities from the times of Joshua, including Jerusalem, read on the 15th. And in the Talmud’s time, people also read on the 12th and the 13th…What’s going on? I thought we were supposed to come together on Purim????
    One answer is that coming together and being united, contrary to some people’s beliefs, does not mean doing the same thing. True unity is when we respect each person’s individuality and even more, we realize we NEED each person’s individuality. We rally around the same thing, the Torah and our value system, but we each retain our own sense of self. That’s real unity.
    And that’s why we have a special mitzvah to give charity on Purim, more than any other day. And we have a special mitzvah of eating a festive meal. And of giving Mishloach Manot. Because all these things bring us closer to our fellow brothers and sisters.
    On that note, I want to bless you, and me, and all of Am Yisrael, that we merit to have true unity this Purim. That we merit also to have one thing to all focus and rally around – namely, the Beit HaMikdash (Temple). And may we defeat the Haman’s of today and as it says in the Megillah (8:16) “The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honour”.
    Happy Purim!”

  • Ahmed Saadat….. High blood pressure, ulcer, erectile disfunction, hamasian, arab, asshole, etc. Calm down and except the fact that you and your race are zonky-nut in a camel’s ass. Keep well.

  • ugh… can Templar… your racism disgusts me, is anti-thetical to the very core of the Jewish experience. Ahmed Saadat is a dick… but please dont make the mistake of painting all Arabs with the same brush.

  • Now I feel like an idiot. I hear what you are saying Tom. Guys like that just give me a bad taste in the mouth, but one’s anger should be directed towards that person and not the entire Arab community.

  • There are a thousand Purims. Everybody gets the Purim they want. They decide what their Purim will be, in advance of it, whether they know it or not.

    You are responsible for your own Purim.

    Great post, # 39.

    Hey Middle, what happened to your usual great grasp of middles? SOME segregation, not extreme. SOME modesty, not extreme. The MIDDLE.

    A right-winger is a liberal with a daughter in high school. – proverb from my stetl.

    It’s not, hey, Mom, meet my new concubine. It’s hey, Mom, I’m gonna BE what’s his name’s concubine. Isn’t he nice?

  • Why does it always seem to fall on the women’s shoulders to control the desires of men? An attractive woman is an attractive women. Period. She can cover herself with the exception of her hands and face and still arouse a man. Men must take responsibility for their own desires and emotions. Do I believe that the Kotel should be separated? Yes, but men and women should have equal amounts of space. This irritates me so much! Just because women are not commanded to carry out time restrictive mitzvahs does not mean they are not allowed to do them. Why do men think that their prayer is somehow more important to G-d? At this rate, women won’t even be allowed in! Also, just a side note; it’s not fair to lump all Orthodox Jews into one general category. However, it is not right for one Jew to try and determine what it means to be Jewish for someone else. If practicing Orthodox Jewry makes you feel spiritually fulfilled then that is great, but you do not have the right to tell someone else who chooses to practice another form of Judaism that they are somehow “less Jewish” than you are. The Kotel is for ALL JEWS…and a small group of Orthodox rabbis cannot determine what it means to be Jewish. That is not their job. That is G-d’s.

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