Enough is Enough

Judaism has been plagued by accusations of sexism. Not all of these accusations are baseless. A cursory reading of our sacred texts shines a light on the patriarchal society into which Judaism was born. Women in the Bible are treated, often, as property and, to this day in traditional communities, women are not given the opportunity to express their Judaism equally with men. While many in these communities would argue that Judaism believes that men and women are separate but equal - this reasoning rings hollow to our modern sensibilities.

Over the past few weeks, as we have watched politicians, actors, producers, artists and others be accused of sexual harassment or assault It gives us an opportunity to honor those women who have had the courage to come forward by looking deeply at the core constructs that allow women to be treated with such vile disrespect and disregard.

Judaism has indeed struggled to allow women to have equal opportunity, equal power and equal rights within our ancient tradition. What makes Judaism so dynamic, though, is our ability to see the patriarchy that has animated our history as a product, not of Divine will, but human imperfection. When we are taught in the Torah that all people are created in the image of God that should be enough for us to recognize and celebrate the inherit and equal worth of every person; man, woman or genderqueer. Like all evils in the world, we cannot blot out sexual harassment and abuse until we understand its genesis: That it is born out of a warped sense of gender and human equality. We are all created in the image of God. Enough is enough!

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© 2016 by Rabbi David Paskin

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