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The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Irresponsible Journalism From the New York Times


the NY Times has a section in their online newspaper called “The Lede”. It is often chock full of interesting links and thought on the news of the times. I have been inspired to post links to The Lede before in my blog post about “Bus Ads in London proclaiming there is no GD”.

Today, The Lede has a tremendously misleading post about women’s rights. Women have been fighting for equality of rights in America for years. Their right to vote was only recently (relatively) added to the Bill of Rights. Title VII and Title IX are recent acts of legislature to attempt to enforce equality for women.

It is not as if the United States has ALWAYS treated women equally. But now that we do treat women equally in America we are permitted to look down upon anyone who does not (sarcasm emphasized).It is so short sighted to act as if women have been equal to men in the United States forever. It also, somehow, gives rise to the right to point at any other culture which does not share our equality of women. I think it is deplorable that any culture not give women access to all rights that exist for men.

Many people point to Judaism as a culture which looks down upon women. In fact one of the egregious acts which The Lede cited was a Jewish newspaper using Photoshop to remove 2 women from a photo of Knesset members. The press has portrayed this as some sort of protest against women in government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The newspaper is distributed exclusively in the very religious neighborhoods where men do not look at women who are not their immediate family. Never. This is not a matter of rights, it is a matter of being careful with their sexuality. These people are holy people. These people do not want to have thought of women racing through their minds. These people want to maintain a purity which can only be achieved by removing all distractions from their lives. It is to admired and yet, it is not a lifestyle for most of us. They do not ask that we behave this way, they do not punish those who think differently, they merely feel that looking at women could be bad for their souls.

Personally, I don’t think this is the right way to observe Judaism. I do not approve of this way of life. I explain it only to demonstrate that these are peace loving people who try to keep to themselves and do not wish to look at women.

I have a different way of approaching women in Judaism and I will be talking and writing about it in the coming weeks. One who looks into the stories of the Torah and Talmud sees women as being above men. Men are constantly deferring to women in the Torah, as we shall learn together.

The Lede feels that this is somehow newsworthy to the point that it is in the same article as flogging women and homosexuals in Pakistan and a severe curtailing of rights in Afghanistan. That is preposterous. No one is hurt by men wishing not to see women. Women have the same rights as men. It is not out of chauvanism or disrespect that holy men refrain from looking at women. Yet, it somehow reaches the same level of audacity as flogging women and homosexuals!!!

Shame on The Lede for this article. It really bothers me. And yet, I disagree with the mentality of those very religious Jews – but I respect their culture. The NY Times does not.

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Filed under: All Posts, Musings & Observations, My Links, , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. E. F. Shaar says:

    Dittoes on all the above. Well said. And let me point out to the penumbra people that less than a hundred years ago this country felt they had to PASS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMANT to give women the right to vote. They did not rely on the Supreme Court to “find” that right in the Constitution. All the more so on the other less worthy “rights” being proclaimed by the courts.

  2. […] in the NY Times and In Our TImes To be fair I have had my share of criticism of the New York Times. I don’t call them anti-Semitic though, that just reminds me of Uncle […]

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