Times are a changing… They have to

Times are a changing. They have to.

I am blessed to be surrounded by people who are working to make society and the world better.
I have learnt in the past few months that the only way to really make changes or to fight for causes you care about, is to keep going and never give up.

I learnt this from people fighting many causes, some that touched me more than others, but the common denominator between all these people behind the causes was the same.
Focus on the goal and work for each step towards that goal and never ever give up.

A good friend bought me a postcard when I was about 20 with a saying by Rebecca West. It is stuck on my fridge to this day ,it says “Feminism: I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is, I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat “.

Well things haven’t changed. I still don’t know what being a feminist means ,but I do know that women are now finally speaking up in the religious Jewish world.
Thankfully, these voices come in different colours, different shades and different intensities, but all share one thing, the need for truth and change.And with this change comes the understanding that it will only happen with rational, honest and tough dialogue about religion, Jewish law and justice in our society.

Our close virtual world has allowed me to get to know wonderful women who have much to say, and the beauty is that it isn’t important whether I agree, it is the fact that at last there is dialogue happening right here, right now.

For some people truth and confrontation is too frightening, to these people I would say: In life there are different types of families, those who on the surface all looks rosy, but under their carpets they have swept all the pain and disagreement. The other type of family lays all the issues out on the table. Sometimes the arguments are painful and loud, but these arguments end with people being closer.

I’ll go for the second option any day.

Modern day life especially as a “Torah observant” women is challenging to say the least, but if we are not honest about the challenges and do not discuss them openly and rationally, there is no hope of ever solving them.

The starting point is that women in our times play totally different roles in society than they did in the past- if we can agree to start the discussion there, we are already making progress.

I am determined to make sure things change, if not for me,then for my daughter and her friends.

We owe it to them.

So I call on everyone to be part of the dialogue and to look for solutions not conflicts.
May we open our minds and be honest in our judgments, because we can do this.
We have to do this.

About the Author
Alisa Coleman has a Speech Sciences (Hon) degree from University College London .Alisa became a leading activist to combat extremism in Bet Shemesh .
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