The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine
LET’S DANCE, INDEED
Regarding Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz’s October 14 column (“Let’s Dance! We accept the invitation!”): I took a double take when I saw the accompanying photo and the title. I generally opt out of his column due to his negativity toward inclusion of women, particularly toward Women of the Wall. But when I saw the picture of women dancing with a Torah scroll, and the title, I was curious.
He writes, “Every Jew is a part of this [Simhat Torah] celebration. Any person who goes to synagogue on Shabbat and hears the Torah reading completes the Torah on Shmini Atzeret... We accept the invitation and we take out the Torah and dance with it as ‘lovers’ of God, His Torah and His commandments.”
I seek clarification. If Rabinowitz believes that every person includes women, then why the objection to women reading from the Torah, even in a women’s minyan? I presume the picture was the editor’s choice, but it causes dissonance between Rabinowitz’s behavior, his writing and the presentation of his column.
Women of the Wall include women from all streams of Judaism who treasure Jewish tradition and ritual, to which Torah reading is central. We also “accept the invitation and we [continue to strive to] take out the Torah and dance with it as ‘lovers’ of God, His Torah and His commandments.”
May it come to pass this year that indeed women will be privileged to take out the Torah, read from it and dance with it at the Kotel and anywhere they so desire to do so. LINDA AVITAN
Rehovot The writer is chairwoman of Adat Shalom-Emanuel Masorti Congregation.
Editor Erica Schachne responds: The Magazine was illustrating a form of Jewish celebration practiced around the world, including in Israel.