Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well, tomorrow- who knows if I'll be able to blog then?- is Flag Day! Two hundred and thirty years! Whoo-hooooo!

OK, that was the vexillologist in me, bubbling out. Back to laughs and rants...

Eh, let's get the rants out of the way first. It's sad, sometimes, how we think the truth is limited to our own narrow world-view. Every morning, a woman comes to Shacharit to say Kaddish. And if there's no man there saying Kaddish...gevalt! She's limited to the last one, and then some other man has to bellow it out so that, chas v'shalom, we don't hear her. When confronted, the dude who says this informs me, "It's written everywhere! Look it up!"

Errr, no. It's actually written that women used to say Kaddish, alone, for a minyan all the time, until the Jewish world went mad about forty or fifty years ago. (Thanks to my cousin who asked me, with my access to the YU library, to photocopy Joel Wolowelsky's article in Tradition some years back- I made a copy for myself and thus can look it up.) And, of course, leaving halakha aside, there's the simple question of kavod habriot- you think she doesn't notice?

Consider, for example, this sad story. Did it never occur to the narrator to notice that such behavior is likely much more prevalent in more charedi (that is, insular) communities? That Israel has quite a few black or otherwise darker people, and that young Matt may be more comfortable in a more modern setting? Of course not. Our way or back to America, dude!

Anyway. Laugh time. First these two clips, the first of which I found through Failed Messiah. Funny because they're true, eh? (Well, the bit about the rabbis not looking in the first, at least.)

Next, this. I read a bit of Cracked years ago, and now I see they have a site where I'll likely waste much, much time. Absolutely hilarious- check it out if you dare. Ah, the wonders of the world.

Happy Flag Day, friends! Long may it wave!


Gil Student said...

There were historically different customs regarding women reciting kaddish. It is not true that until 40 or 50 years ago women did it all the time in all places.

See also:

Nachum said...

Of course, you are correct. I'm mainly protesting about the thought (especially in this shul in particular) that it's a cut and dried "no."

Just came up again this Shabbos, in reference to another shul: "Let her sit in the hall! Let her go to another shul." Geez, some common, decent respect, people.