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Women at Prayer: A Halakhic Analysis of Women's Prayer Groups

av Avraham Weiss

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242964,968 (3)Ingen/inga
A response to the halakhic Critisism against women's tefila groups. the author offers halakhic legitimization of women's tefila, and shows. The importance of distinguishing between halakhah and public policy. key issues in question are also addressed.
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Overall, I think the author did his level best to be impartial and fair-minded and to do a complete review of the subject matter. My personal level of respect for the orthodox establishment has increased notably as a result of this book.

It seems to me that most of the arguments around Women's (what many were initially calling minyanim) prayer groups boil down to questions about the motivation -the real underlying motivation, of each woman who is participating. A bit of a double standard, but then we've always been accustomed to that. Weiss generously allows that "participants in women's tefillah groups are primarily motivated by increased Torah learning and not by the feminist movement." His proof is that many of these ladies reject so-called non-halachic options, presumably as in the Masorti/Conservative movement, of which I must admit that I am a part precisely because of the Masorti commitment to halachic observance. Nevertheless, Weis admits throughout his book that women who are sincere in the desire to become closer to Torah are not prohibited from praying together, when that facilitates such closeness and Torah learning more than established "public" outlets like male-dominated fora.

Moving to my specific page notes (unfortunately, I did not have data on a phone, so could not keep running updates as I prefer): P. 9 -did it not occur to the ancient rabbis that women might want to study and write books?
p. 51 "sensational feminist quests" -really? as if this were all just a lark?
p. 63 the Chafetz Chaim and R. Soloveitchik advocated teaching women Talmud
p. 71 if it all boils down to obligation, what about childless/unmarried women?

** Page 74: prayer in the plural ( my adddition: because it 1.) ties each person to the community and 2.) reminds each person of her place in the world, thus 3.) binding each one to the larger Human group/species...

p. 98: with this "clear basis in halacha," why are there ppl opposed to Nshot HaKotel?

p. 105 a womon must pray where her kavanah is MAXimized...
(and via a siddur that helps accomplish that, presumably, as with medieval variations on Birchot haShachar...)

Yet he rules all-women's Tefillah groups to be non-public tefillah. Fine, I like privacy, any way!!
Interesting that Rav Feinstein did not issue a definitive psak din.


To conclude my review, I had had in mind, before reviewing my notes, to make a comment on being glad that we are not presumed to all be stirring up trouble, and thus to be whipped as rebellious women and lesbians were to be during the days of the Beit Din, but the end notes gave me both hope and pause. Hope through his acknowledgment, but pause at his apparent underlying assumption that women in general, or at least feminists in particular, do not have a sense of honor/love for Torah.

Weiss acknowledges that women have learned more, crave more closeness to Torah and more learning, but seems to be unwilling to acknowledge that women also deserve the respect of having our own sense of honor, and commitment to principle. This, for me, is the ikar. That a woman, today, is effectively no different than a man, and that the preference for the home as a woman's domain is both unfair to women, and inefficient for the Human Race.

L'Shalom,
Shira

Let's #EndPoverty & #EndMoneyBail by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (1. #libraries, 2. #ProBono legal aid and Education, 3. #UniversalHealthCare , and 4. good #publictransport )Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

March, 12019 HE

( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
Overall, I think the author did his level best to be impartial and fair-minded and to do a complete review of the subject matter. My personal level of respect for the orthodox establishment has increased notably as a result of this book.

It seems to me that most of the arguments around Women's (what many were initially calling minyanim) prayer groups boil down to questions about the motivation -the real underlying motivation, of each woman who is participating. A bit of a double standard, but then we've always been accustomed to that. Weiss generously allows that "participants in women's tefillah groups are primarily motivated by increased Torah learning and not by the feminist movement." His proof is that many of these ladies reject so-called non-halachic options, presumably as in the Masorti/Conservative movement, of which I must admit that I am a part precisely because of the Masorti commitment to halachic observance. Nevertheless, Weis admits throughout his book that women who are sincere in the desire to become closer to Torah are not prohibited from praying together, when that facilitates such closeness and Torah learning more than established "public" outlets like male-dominated fora.

Moving to my specific page notes (unfortunately, I did not have data on a phone, so could not keep running updates as I prefer): P. 9 -did it not occur to the ancient rabbis that women might want to study and write books?
p. 51 "sensational feminist quests" -really? as if this were all just a lark?
p. 63 the Chafetz Chaim and R. Soloveitchik advocated teaching women Talmud
p. 71 if it all boils down to obligation, what about childless/unmarried women?

** Page 74: prayer in the plural ( my adddition: because it 1.) ties each person to the community and 2.) reminds each person of her place in the world, thus 3.) binding each one to the larger Human group/species...

p. 98: with this "clear basis in halacha," why are there ppl opposed to Nshot HaKotel?

p. 105 a womon must pray where her kavanah is MAXimized...
(and via a siddur that helps accomplish that, presumably, as with medieval variations on Birchot haShachar...)

Yet he rules all-women's Tefillah groups to be non-public tefillah. Fine, I like privacy, any way!!
Interesting that Rav Feinstein did not issue a definitive psak din.


To conclude my review, I had had in mind, before reviewing my notes, to make a comment on being glad that we are not presumed to all be stirring up trouble, and thus to be whipped as rebellious women and lesbians were to be during the days of the Beit Din, but the end notes gave me both hope and pause. Hope through his acknowledgment, but pause at his apparent underlying assumption that women in general, or at least feminists in particular, do not have a sense of honor/love for Torah.

Weiss acknowledges that women have learned more, crave more closeness to Torah and more learning, but seems to be unwilling to acknowledge that women also deserve the respect of having our own sense of honor, and commitment to principle. This, for me, is the ikar. That a woman, today, is effectively no different than a man, and that the preference for the home as a woman's domain is both unfair to women, and inefficient for the Human Race.

L'Shalom,
Shira

Let's #EndPoverty & #EndMoneyBail by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (1. #libraries, 2. #ProBono legal aid and Education, 3. #UniversalHealthCare , and 4. good #publictransport )Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

March, 12019 HE

( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Visar 2 av 2
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A response to the halakhic Critisism against women's tefila groups. the author offers halakhic legitimization of women's tefila, and shows. The importance of distinguishing between halakhah and public policy. key issues in question are also addressed.

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