Yes, it’s more work to organize your own High Holidays - but it also connects you more deeply to the practice.
Women of the Wall announced plans to read from a Torah scroll at its upcoming service at the Western Wall. Also leading up to Sunday’s service, several leading haredi Orthodox rabbis called on thousands of haredi men to gather for a mass prayer opposite Women of the Wall.
Conservatives often complain about stone-throwing aimed at Israelis. What do they say about the Haredi mob that attacked women at the Kotel — and the police opening fire?
A few weeks ago I was at a Rosh Chodesh gathering, and as it often happens in a room filled with women, the conversation turned to families and babies. I began to feel pangs of jealousy immediately. I was jealous of the ease with which women who are married to (or in relationships with) men can have babies. When you’re in a loving and committed heterosexual relationship and both people decide they’re ready to have children, you simply slip into bed together. When you’re in a loving and committed gay relationship and both people decide they’re ready to have children, the next steps are far more complicated.
Somewhere between Philly and Phoenix, I picked up a nasty cold. It started as a small sniffle as I was squished between two large men during the take-off during this second leg of my 28-hour journey. If I had been on my way to anywhere else other than Hawaii, where I was once again invited for by the Jewish Congregation of Maui to consult on Jewish education and development, I might have considered that this wasn’t worth the effort. By the time I took off from Phoenix, I clearly had a temperature, as well as that horrible lump in the throat which felt depressingly like strep, and I begged the flight attendant to switch me to a row with no other passengers so I could just lay down for six hours and nurse myself back to health in the clouds. It’s terrible to be sick anytime. But when you’re on your way to a mere 14 days in paradise, you don’t want to waste even one moment.
It’s been clear for a while now that post-bar mitzvah age boys drop out of organized Jewish life, at least in the non-Orthodox world, far more than girls the same age do. In this article in The New York Times a few years back, I wrote about how the Reform movement had begun to address the gender disparity.