From the comments of the Cross blog:
Sorry, Rabbi Menken, I can't say I see it your way, not from the female side of the mechitza, that is. [ ] At the black hat shul I've attended, the tall steel mechitza with the smoked glass in front of it effectively locks out the women. We can't see anything, we can't hear anything. Hence, the women wind up admiring each other's sheitls. That's not a source of inspiration I can admire.
Comment by Roman Catholic — March 21, 2007 @ 1:25 am
Stop. Before you go any further ask yourself this: What does the author of this comment want? To gawk at men, or to join the service? Think you know the answer? Okay. Here's Rabbi Menken's reply:
Going to synagogue to "participate" (or to see over into the men's section) is missing the point. We go to synagogue to pray. Those who are serious about it, of both genders, don't spend their time looking around the room, because that's not why they are there.
Comment by Yaakov Menken — March 21, 2007 @ 10:49 am
Gag me. We go to synagouge to pray? And praying isn't particpating?
I don't claim to be as smart as Rabbi Menken but it seemed perfectly obvious to me that the woman wanted only what shul-going men take for granted. We are able to follow the chazan, and answer the responsive parts, and hear the sermon, and I expect the writer of the comment would only like to do this, too. I guess Rabbi M saw something else, which is why he brought out the hammer.