jlink
Saturday, July 22, 2017

By now, most of us have either read or learned of the Orthodox Union’s recent seven-member rabbinic panel who issued important direction on the issue of women’s roles within Orthodoxy.

We appreciated that for the first time in many weeks, the discussion around the Shabbos table perhaps moved away from national politics to the practicalities in our lives as Modern Orthodox Jews.

And just like the weeks, if not months, of back and forth on presidential issues, we hopefully gave one another the ability to speak freely and frankly without judgment on the important statements on the role of women with our communities recently presented by the OU.

The Jewish Link is pleased that conversations such as the vital role of women in our community are discussed in these pages, and that the discourse occurs in a spirit of respect. We welcome opposing sides of any story as long as the points of information are to inform and to add insight to the discussion. We can disagree but yet learn from one another at the same time.

Our tradition, our mesorah, offers such remarkable continuity when compared to all of the peoples of this world because those generations before us asked questions of one another. We sometimes disagreed, but worked hard to understand as many sides of an issue as could be presented.

The idea is not for us to fuel our disagreements with the language of anger. Certainly, we aren’t going to agree on everything.

The issue of an expanded role of women within Orthodoxy clearly is a work in progress. It’s a discussion that is far from over as expanded roles are recognized by the OU and RCA. But whether we agree or disagree over recommendations or opinions, let’s keep both the oral and written words civil, and let’s not be so quick to react. Listen, read and reflect.

Remember that we’re being watched by younger generations of Jews. How many times do we remind our children of exhibiting good behavior or midot? Well, in our Jewish day-to-day lives, when a certain issue “touches a nerve,” remember the message we give our children.

They will be watching, they will be listening and they will be reading.

We gladly share our editorial space with you and look forward to a lively dialogue, done in a respectful tone, with the everlasting goal of better understanding.