I had a conversation this morning about feminism and Orthodox Judaism and me. Someone wanted to know how I stand, or maybe where I stand, and why things do or do not happen here that may or may not happen other places.
How’s that for a convoluted sentence? I think she wanted to know why we do not push the envelope more completely, since we seem like we should be a group that does so.
So I told her that my venue is learning. I have zero interest in performance. I think that ritual is fine in and of itself, but it’s not what interests me in any way to make me motivated to get more involved. So I can’t really relate. And singing does matter to me, but not singing to prove something. What is the motive for performance, I wonder? Is it to be like the boys or is it really Avodat Hashem, service to G-d ?
Yes, G-d gets left out of the equation too often.
She responded in the kindest of ways whether the issue was a matter of giving the benefit of the doubt.
I said I doubt it, but no, I’m already past that.
And then for whatever reason, I thought of flowers.
And being open and vulnerable and almost past their prime, but actually being completely that.
At their prime.
And so I thought about how I much prefer flowers these days when they are completely open. Completely done.
Before they’re done.
You know, sort of right before you need a haircut is when your hair looks the best.
Oh I do remember why I thought of flowers.
I told her that we had a Shabbat afternoon service for women years ago and it was lovely. Beautiful singing, no egos. It dissipated because the main leader moved away and I think I got busy with babies.
And it was nice, but I didn’t feel I needed it so much to recreate it.
I said that my favorite prayer time throughout the week is this Shabbat Minchah afternoon service.
The day is almost done. I’m filled with a sense of completion, but also a sense of the future, of the promise of more Shabbatot to come.
And it’s short and so sweet.
Like a flower at its prime.