Sunday, December 18, 2016

In reality - how to deal with the consensus view of women as subordinate?

I have presented a number of posts regarding the Torah attitude towards women - in particular in marriage -  where they are clearly described as being subordinate to their husbands. As a consequence I have attacked by some for being a nut or intellectual dishonesty - though no one has presented the "true" Torah view that contradicts what I have presented and no one has explained why an objective scholarly approach is a sign of being a nut. Clearly some people want their Judaism sanitized and subordinate to their own views i.e, they want to create G-d in their own image.

I have been criticized by those who claim that it is inappropriate or even a chilul haShem for daring to mention what the consensus of our traditional mainstream sources about women. Meaning that while they agree that my posts are accurately presenting the Torah view - it is best  if people are ignorant of how our rabbis tell us how the Torah views women and marriage. That is a rather bizarre claim. On the one hand we are to dedicate our lives to learning about and living  according to what rabbis tell us is G-d's will - but at the same time we are not supposed to learn what the Torah says about certain topics because that is a chilul HaShem?! How can G-d's will be a chilul HaShem?

On the other hand it is also accurately claimed that women and society are different today and that therefore they need to be treated differently the classic sources say. This is explained either that the Torah is outdate - chas v'shalom or that there are kabbalistic ideas which indicate as we come into Messianic times i.e., after 1740 - that women's role will come to be equal and perhaps superior to that of men. The only problem is that these kabbalistic views are minority opinions which are not very clear and have no basis in traditional sources and seemed to be used as a fig leave to cover the embarrassing consensus views.

I would like to start a serious discussion about how to reconcile the traditional views - which clearly are not acceptable to many if not most frum women and men - but which at the same time clearly represent the traditional consensus views of our greatest rabbis throughout history. Does this mean that the only solution is for people to submit themselves to the traditional view? Or as Rav Solveitchik put it, "we sacrificed out intellects on Mt. Sinai?" I think that there are alternatives.

I would appreciate if some people can contain their hysteric comments. I am concerned with reality - the reality of Torah and the reality of modern men and women. Any reconciliation has to be within the framework of traditional halachic reasoning and principles. This is a discussion for mature adults who are committed to the Torah and halacha. I am not interested in a solution which in essence says to abandon Yiddishkeit. And it really doesn't help in arriving at an answer by shooting at me - I am simply the messenger[to be continued]

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