Dear Rachel,

Growing up in Soviet Union, I was completely denied both faith & my Judaism. Orthodoxy is such a strange world to me. But my husband (a fairly recent convert) & I go to minyan on Saturday mornings, & we light Shabbat candles & our kids grew up with this wonderful faith.

My cousin is Orthodox, & she lives in Baltimore. The other day, talking with her, I asked, “You know that feeling? That almost breathless sort of hollowing when they take out the Torah?” “No,” she replied. “C’mon,” I insisted, “you have to have felt it. When they lift the Torah up to show us the portion that was just read? It’s an Awe, with the capital A.” “No,” my cousin said again. “We sit behind the partition.”

I felt such a deep pity for her! She hasn’t seen this Torah that belongs to all the Jews, that is our birthright, our heritage, our l’dor vador! Why such a fear of women? Sure, but our strength is immeasurable, our power formidable. But we know how to use it for good & not for badness! Women have controlled their “evil” impulses for centuries! Poor, poor weak men! Damn, women SHOULD rule the world, by our inner strength alone!

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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