The core issue is about the nature of Judaism, and specifically the place of women within Judaism.
There’s a lot of hypocrisy and double standards in the public and political discourse over “hadarat nashim” (exclusion of women). The secular politicians and public who are up in arms about women being forced to move to the back of the bus have been deafeningly silent for decades about the place of women at the Kotel.
Wake up, folks, it’s the same issue.
The moderate religious politicians and public who are up in arms about the boycotting of women performers at army events have been steadfast opponents of any attempt by the more liberal streams of Judaism to gain legitimacy in Israel.
What you sow, you now reap.
Ultimately, this is a question about what we mean by a “Jewish state”.
- Whose Judaism?
- What kind of Judaism?
- Or Judaisms?
- What kind of Jews will decide how we define “Jewish”?
This is a question that the entire Jewish world should be involved in, and that’s how the issue should be framed educationally. The conversation is not about feminism, not about equality, not about decency: it’s about how we understand Judaism.
Binyamin Netanyahu makes a big fuss about recognizing Israel as a “Jewish state”. Here’s a prime opportunity to turn that political posturing into a serious worldwide Jewish conversation.