Women are at the gate. The rabbis may not be able to keep them from entering equally into their old boys’ club. And the rabbis are terrified, of course. Good news for humanity and Judaism. The only thing traditionalist (include me) can hope for is that any classes will not be co-ed. But at this stadium, the request is not to receive training but only that they would allow women to do the same exam as men do before receiving ordination.
Let me give the rabbis a hand. These women are not from Mars (or: Venus). You know them. They are like your grandmothers, aunts, mothers, sisters, wives, mothers-in-law, daughters, and granddaughters. They’re fully human, great people. And intelligent, but that might not pacify you.
We, religious traditional Jewish men, acknowledge every morning that He (!) did not make us a woman. Why do we? Think about it.
Women live on average 10 years longer. They get empathy when they cry, at least sometimes. They can multi-process while we can only do one (tops: two) thing(s) at the same time. They have all the rights and, in comparison, hardly any obligations. They have better intuitions and are great at relationships. I’m talking averagely — which you like to do when you talk about men and women. They are more modest and more giving. Children like them automatically. They don’t start wars, don’t kill, even when very angry, and don’t rape. They can bring more kids into the world. They can put their shopping bag on their hip while they open the door. They can breast-feed. They are the traditional boss of the home. You are obligated to speak softly to your wife while she can scream all she wants. You think you can win the fight but they would try to defuse the tension.
The list goes on. Why do we say a daily blessing that G^d made us not a woman? The answer is simple. Not just our wives are our bosses. He too is our B^ss. He can do whatever He wants. And He made us males. Tough luck. We better acknowledge reality. But there is more. This Blessing gives us the daily message: When you look at women well, how could you not feel jealous? Well, this Blessing is to help us men fight that feeling. Be happy with your lot. For you also, there is a place in Creation.
Often overlooked is that what doesn’t look so great in being a woman has nothing to do with being a woman. Rather, it comes from being around men who denigrate her. It’s not true that she can’t do math or read maps. If only someone would have taken her brains seriously and taught her.
When women will feel better, everyone’s life and survival will be enhanced. The only thing we risk losing is bad stuff for everyone.