Someone sent me an e-mail which said the following:
“Rabbi Maryles, are you aware that Avi Weiss' temple had a Kallat Torah
and Kallat Bereishit? I heard this third-hand, so I called the temple to verify.”
Now, I would not refer to Rabbi Weiss’s Shul as a temple. That is insulting, incorrect, and unfair. His Shul does not violate Halacha, to the best of my knowledge. But this latest little attempt at political correctness of the feminist kind is very telling about what drives the left wing of modern orthodoxy of which Rabbi Weiss is one of the more eloquent leaders.
Rabbi Avi Weiss is not only the Rav of a Modern Orthodox Shul in Riverdale; he is also the founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. It is therefore not unreasonable to conclude that what he advocates for his Shul, he would advocate for his school as well.
I find this latest innovation to be very troubling. Of what possible value is it to add to the millennia old traditionb of Chasan Torah and Chasan Bereshis? Who benefits from this? What kind of woman would really care that an annual event millennia needs a parallel feminine version?
There can only be one answer: Only a feminist would care. Only an individual consumed with the idea that we live in a male dominated society in which the Torah world was and still is complicit, and that women have been put down by men, even Orthodox men for centuries. And that we need to do everything possible to change things until men and women are completely equal on the social playing field.
This new innovation is so ridiculous, it is laughable. Are we going to start adding a feminine version of every Religious ritual?
If this event doesn’t prove my point about the current thrust of left wing Modern orthodoxy, nothing does. I do not believe for a minute that this is what Judaism is about.
There are many people who would say, “So what?” Who cares what a Shul does to please a certain element as long as they do not violate Halacha. But as I have said in the past: How far does one want to go with this? How far must we twist tradition out of shape to satisfy a few social feminists? In my view the gain is far outweighed by the loss. What is the loss? It is the loss of normalcy. Just as I think the extremism of the right does not serve Klal Yisroel well, neither the the extremism of the left, especially when there is absolutely no practical benefit.