Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How sad: Steven Pruzansky's war against women continues

Steven Pruzansky's war against women continues: (in the comments of his most recent post). He writes: 
How sad when women do not realize that their role in the home is superior and more important that the man’s role in public.
How do men find the nerve to repeat this condescending twaddle? Aren't they shamed by the inanity of it? If the role of women is so superior, why does no man want it? Why isn't Rabbi Pruzansky - or any other Rabbi for that matter - advocating for the chance to stay at home, cut off from the world, stripped of any voice in communal affairs, raising children? If its so superior, why isn't its superiority apparent? Why is this superiority obvious only to those, like Pruzansky, who adduce it solely for the purpose of telling other people what to do.
Indeed. I have been fortunate in that I have been surrounded my entire life by happy women, who love the Torah, women’s role and their lives. They have no grievances against the Torah, which is to say they have no grievances against the Creator. For me, that is a blessing. For them, as well.
Remember yesterday when I pointed out that Pruzansky has the maddening habit of accusing his opponents of being anti-Torah? Well, here he does it again. What can we do to make Pruzansky realize that it isn't the Torah or the Creator that has banned women from participating in communal life? That decision was made by men, ancient men, who took their own superiority for granted. The grievance, therefore, isn't against Torah or the Creator but against the men who interpret it in their own interest.

Later he says this to another commenter:
Hmmm, sounds like you have grievances against the Torah. Perhaps a man-made religion will suit you better, or, even better than that, maybe probe your tradition a little deeper, lose the feminist ideology that emanates from a foreign source, and you will happily learn how God carved out different modes of worship for men and women, because – shockingly – men and women are different.

It is a shame when women feel that the only mode of worshipping God that is meaningful to them is mimicking that of men.

Does that sound like misogyny? Sounds more like feminism gone awry.

In short, women need ordination like fish need a bicycle.

Let's note for the record the serious sins he commits here:
  1. Again he is declaring that anyone who disagrees with him is anti-Torah. How convenient it must be for Pruz that his every thought is perfectly in keeping with God's will
  2. Again, he displays no awareness that Judaism, in the main,  is also man-made. Though we agree that Judaism started with a revelation, ever since men have been at work interpreting the Scripture and applying the laws. This is a creative work. The halachic process isn't a game of telephone; rather its a process of men using their intellect and imaginations, and yes, also their prejudices and personal perspectives, to create solutions and approaches for navigating the world.  
  3. Again, he presumes anyone who disagrees with him is insufficiently educated, which is ironic when you think about it. Many people have learned as much as he has - or more - without reaching the same conclusions he did.
  4. He says that its a "shame" that women are trying to mimic men, but what other modes of worship are available to a pious women who wishes to pray? Its not feminism that inspires a women to pray, so why assume that its feminism that inspires her to imitate the only modes of worship she's been taught arelegitimate? 
  5. What does he mean when he says God carved out different modes of worship? The prayers were composed by men. The times for prayer were established by men. Women are required to pray and the benefits of praying with a minyan are available to women, too. Is Pruzansky ignorant of all this? What is a woman's "mode of worship? The fact that men like Pruzansky have bullied women into thinking they have no place at a weekday minyan is a tragedy. In my own neighborhood, most women stay home from shul on shabbos, too, and I lay the blame for this, as well, at the feet of men like Pruzansky. 

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