Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Parody Or A Touch of Reality?

I'm sure many of you have seen the "Sheasani Kirtzono" posters that have popped up of late. For those of you who have not seen them, here it is:

(click on the image to enlarge)

Yes, I'm well aware that the poster is a Purim-inspired parody of the popular "Asher Yatzar" posters. But yet, while being amused by the parody (I love the X'ed out woman davening with a tallis on the bottom), sometimes I wonder if the line between parody and reality is beginning to blur in our communities.

In many of our schools, it is being taught that the main goal in life for a woman is to be able to support her husband so that he can learn. Her own learning is unimportant (beyond the knowledge of how to properly run a home) and her learning certain subjects is forbidden (the extent of which varies from community to community. At least one Satmar school takes it to the extreme that girls can't learn anything -- even Torah SheB' Ksav -- from a sefer!). In addition, in some communities in Israel, girls are also not allowed to engage in a secular education which will help them in their goal to support a husband who learns Torah. In short, the message is pretty clear -- educating women is bad -- an idea that is parodied in the poster but in some cases, hits just a bit too close to the truth for my tastes.

The Wolf

(Hat tip on the poster: Critically Observant Jew)


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Some people prefer to live in the Middle Ages.Speaking of which,I hear that some professional learners are seeking to do away with Rabbenu Gershom's cherem against polygamy.Their argument is that it's too difficult nowadays to make a living off one wife's salary.

ProfK said...

I'd agree Wolf that I would laugh at this poster if it were not getting too close to the truth in some frum communities. Some of these communities are trying to "have their cake and eat it too," a patent impossibility. If you don't educate women then they can't possibly earn the parnoseh needed to support a man who is learning. Let's not even get into whether education for women, taken on its own merits, is something we should be doing.

Were it not that these people are our "sisters and brothers," I would just sit back and watch for the inevitable crash that is going to come when practices built on air come hurtling down.

Anonymous said...


But notice how the poster is subverted by the women with their sleeves shorter than elbow length!

-suitepotato- said...

The really weird and counterintuitive thing is that generally, hardcore 24x7 study is generally for a specific goal; endless religious study with no end to it is... what?

Some men do more studying than many rabbis do, and never even become a rabbi.

Meanwhile, the whole burqa thing is going on.

The whole thing, to use Catholic terms, looks like everyone is moving towards becoming monks and nuns.

Pesky Settler said...

Did you miss the crossed out woman layning on top and the crossed out woman on horseback down the right side?

It's kind of ironic that this poster (in jest) interprets "his will" as being man's will and not Hashem's will. On a site I often go to, one of the main 'sources' women cite for why women can't do certain mitzvot is because it is written in the masculine form.

Leora said...

These parodies (this poster, burka babes video, other Purim torahs on women's issues) are quite welcoming to me, a relief. I went to a co-ed Modern Orthodox school, left of many of the communities these days, and I found women's issues difficult back then. No wonder I laugh! Such a relief to see others poke fun.

Anonymous said...

What starts off as parody sometimes ends up being taken seriously.