Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Women and Hoshana Raba

I don't understand why pious women don't participate in weekday minyanim - especially on days like Hoshana Raba. And, slow down: I'm not talking about women with child raising obligations. I know those women are exempt. I am talking about women who have no child raising obligations. Why don't women like that go to shul on Hoshana Raba??

I also don't understand why women (generally) will ignore a shiva house minyan. If they happen to be there, visiting someone who has been bereaved, and a minyan starts, they rarely join. Instead they'll  move to the kitchen and continue talking. Why?

The same things happens at weddings. Next time you're at one, join one of the many maariv minyanim that pop up after the chuppah, but watch how the women behave. Most will walk right on by, not even stopping to answer kaddish or kedusha, if its summertime and the minyan is saying mincha.

Again, I know women are exempt. But so what? Why wouldn't a pious woman who has no other competing obligations want to take advantage of the many benefits of praying with a minyan? Why wouldn't she want to answer Kaddish, and reap the so-called segulah that comes with a loud YEHAY SHMAY RABA. And if she's at a shiva house, already, why not just join the minyan? Exempt or not, she's there already

The problem isn't the women, by the way. The problem is a culture ut at a culture that has so devalued women's shul attendance that communities would even feel it acceptable to have a shul with no women's section..Meanwhile, the same culture that gives breaks to women, encourages me to do all sort of things I am not required to do (daily mikva, for example) So why aren't women also encouraged to do more and more? Why does the culture give them a pass on voluntary mitzvos, when it doesn't give men a pass on even voluntary mishigas and narishkeit customs?

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