Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's Worse?

There was a violent confrontation at the Kotel (Western Wall) today. The Women of the Wall, a women's group that prays there on Rosh Chodesh, complete with talleisim and tefillin, were preparing to daven when two people began throwing chairs at them.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. Police arrested two people for the violence.

I really don't want to get into the whole controversy regarding the Women of the Wall. I don't know enough about the motivations of the women or of those that oppose them -- not to mention the possible halachic issues to form an opinion on the matter.

What I do find very funny, however, is people's reaction to it. Consider this comment on YWN:

Except for putting on tefillin on Rosh Chodesh, do they observe any other of the 613 commandments of the Torah? Do they keep kosher? What about Shabbat? When did they stop driving to the beach on Shabbat and Chagim? Do they cover their hair with a kipah and on Shabbat do they wear a shtreimel?

Pretty strong insinuation, no? Because they want to daven with talleisim and tefillin by the Kotel, they obviously don't keep any other mitzvos.

And yet, can you imagine the same person saying the same thing about people who steal, defraud or molest children? Would he say the same thing about Kolko any of the other criminals that (sadly) would be welcome in most minyanim?

Kind of makes you wonder -- do they really think that a group of women davening with tallesim and tefillin are worse than child molesters?

The Wolf

UPDATE (12:00 PM): Of course, my comment to this effect on the YWN article didn't make it past the editors.

The Wolf


Anonymous said...

Personally, what I found telling was that the idiot who wrote that apparently measures by the "big three" mitzvos: Shabbat, kosher,....and wearing a shtreimel!

Yossi Ginzberg

Anonymous said...

Yossi beat me to the streimel comment ;-)

nothingbettertodo said...

I'm amazed by the fact that no one there seems even the slightest bit concerned to know any actual facts about the situation before commenting. It's one thing to say "women davening at the wall is bad, no matter what the motivation" it's quite another to imply that you know the motivations of someone who, to put it mildly, comes from a different community, or that these women go to the beach on shabbos, or that they violate the other 613 Mitzvos (because I suspect several of them have killed someone or brought a korban pesach without having undergone millah).

JRS said...

"do they... think that... women davening w/tallesim & tefillin are worse than child molesters?"

To the extent that such people think at all, yes, they do. It's a venerable old form of pseudo-logic we often encounter in yeshiva: this or that [conservative-judaism/modern-orth./seemingly-nice-goyim/soft-rock-music/etc.] is MORE dangerous to us than other things that appear to be obviously worse---because it SEEMS less threatening to our values, and so, can infiltrate more easily.
By this "logic," we're helpless to make even the simplest value judgments on our own because nothing is what it seems--we must always consult a rav to tell us what's wrong & what's right.

Larry Lennhoff said...

If you look at the youtube video you can see the sort of women that the kotel must be defended from at all costs.

Devorah said...

Yeah, and I also don't seem to remember people throwing chairs at the Pope. Or irreligious Jews. Or non-Jews that visit the wall.

And YWN infuriates me with its censorship. Even Vosizneias is ridiculous. The most illegible and convoluted argument, peppered with indecipherable yiddish and accent-inflected Torah terms make it past the editors.

Anonymous said...

My peeve on the YWN censorship front is that they have no problem whatsoever with a poster posting something absolutle false, but posting a link to prove that a posting is false is somehow beyond the pale.