About women and men. And mutual respect

Germany, between the last hours of 2015 and the first of 2016: hundreds of women found, in the once safe German streets, that men were ready to assault them.

There are some individuals and politicians who declare that they understand these men, saying it is a cultural matter.

It’s a pity so many people have forgotten, or ignore, how the approach to women ought to be . . . .

Woman was the last creature to occur to G-d’s mind.

After the heaven and the earth, the grass, trees, moon and sun. After the stars, birds, fish and horses.

She came after all the rest.

In the beginning, she was man’s exact half, half of a primordial creature, made of man and woman at the same time. Two faces looking toward different horizons, simply attached.

Then G-d decided to give each of them a different task. He immersed man in a deep sleep, in order to avoid man’s looking at her with disgust one day, then took one of his ribs and shaped her.

Woman was ready to come into the world. And, as a bride accompanied by her father toward her soul mate, G-d took Eve’s hand, and brought her to Adam.

Here is your mate. I have only one condition for you.

Protect and respect her, G-d said.

Adam looked at her amazed and said: Here she is. My missing and perfect half.

This is the story of how Man was born in the day he was created, G-d shaped him in His own image. Man and woman He created them, the Torah, the Bible, states in Genesis.

We Jews belong to an identity because our mother belongs to it too.

Woman’s voice is listened to and respected since G-d told Abraham to listen to all that his wife said.

Woman’s choice is followed and considered since Rebecca’s choice to divert her husband’s blessings towards Jacob instead of Esau.

Woman’s passion is carefully watched, since Leah and Rachel and their common passion for the man, called Jacob, created the twelve tribes. From that passion, from that immeasurable love for the spiritual qualities of that man, Am Israel, the Jewish nation, was born.

Woman’s courage is praised since Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Miriam, his sister, saved male babies from the Nile waters, refusing to obey Pharaoh’s cruel orders.

Woman’s challenges are built into our DNA since Miriam challenged her father, who had divorced his wife thinking it was too cruel to bring to life new creatures in such a dark world as ancient Egypt. “Father, Pharaoh’s decree is only on males. Yours is on females too.”

Amram went back to his wife and Moses was born.

Woman’s ability to stand for something is taught since Batya, Pharaoh’s daughter, went to wash herself by the Nile river, and hearing a baby crying, and understanding it belonged to a Jewish infant, she did not withdraw. Though knowing she was risking her life going against her father’s decree, she stretched out her arm. G-d made a miracle and she could reach the little crib. Moses was saved and world values too.

Then those men came. Men who, on the eve of 2016, surrounded women who were enjoying a relaxed night-time walk.

Men who were never taught to listen and respect women’s voice.

Men who were never exposed to the female’s inner ability and courage to go further and beyond.

Men who never heard the question of a woman to Rabbi Yehoshua. ‘Why does the man give his semen to woman and not the opposite?’

Men who were never told the master’s answer to her. ‘Because when you have something that is really precious for you, you entrust it only to the most trusted hands’

Then those men came. And some of them pretended to believe in G-d.

Men who tried to convince our society that their superiority and their  right to dispose of women according to their own lofty instincts, comes directly from the Lord.

Then those men came and simply ignored the fact that when G-d created the world He deliberately inserted in it an eternal dualism.

Male and female, woman and man.

Each side with its own potentials, its only and unique abilities to improve and change this world.

Each part missing, as part of G-d’s plan, some things. Which can be found only in the other half. And never in themselves.

When G-d created the world He created one first creature. Made of a woman and man.

In this way, no human being will be justified to feel superior to another one.

No one should dispose of another one according to his own instincts or wishes.

This world is an ongoing construction site. And everyone should be the foreman.

We are all halves. Of a perfect primordial creature called Man.

From there humanity started. From an identical dignity for both of them.

This is the story of how Man was born in the day he was created, G-d shaped him in His own image. Man and woman He created them.

This is the image G-d forged in His creatures. Man and woman on an equal level.

And those who forget it, those men who surround women during the first minutes of 2016 and violate them using their male genes to justify a nonexistent superiority, those men simply deform the original divine plan.

And violate G-d’s image too.

About the Author
Gheula Canarutto Nemni is a professor and novelist living in Milan, Italy. Her most recent novel '(Non) si può avere tutto' Mondadori 2015 tells the story of an Italian Orthodox Jewish girl and her challenges in the professional world in Milan.
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