When I was a little girl, I asked my Dad why he did not beat my Mom, or discriminate against his daughters in education like the other men in our community. He said that it was because of Jesus.
'Tis graduation season -- or for rabbinical school, ordination season -- and my family welcomes my sister-in-law Dahlia as the first female rabbi in our tree. So it's a tad jarring that the family member whom I want to talk to most says, and I quote, "It's against my religion."
As a male Orthodox Jew, I invite you to sit down with me and see where we can join forces in all those areas of discrimination against women where we can find common cause. I invite you to help me make good on the claim to all Jewish women: "Judaism glorifies you."
It occurred to me, as I looked at a picture of photographers swarming a trio of women, that they are establishing an important point: Despite being decades past the western Women's Liberation Movement, the most direct and potent access to power they have still is through their sexuality.
Much of the news that comes out of Pakistan is about dictators, drones and destruction, but 31-year-old Shehrbano Saiyid is one of the few Pakistanis who is trying to change the narrative of this beleaguered nation.
We live in a world that unfortunately tells us, because we were born with a certain thing between our legs, we are obligated to be a certain person.
Last week, 15 narrow-minded men tried to outlaw women saying the Kaddish at the Western Wall. There was so much blowback that they rescinded their ban. I cannot imagine, I do not want to imagine, that we have returned to a time where being a woman is both demeaning and dangerous.
I can't deny that hearts are in the right places and heads are on the right side of this issue, but I ask of FEMEN: Please, slow down and make sure that your protests are respectful of whoever you're tying to help. There's no need to be patronizing or to exploit harmful stereotypes.
The media is wild over the Women of the Wall controversy, and it's not hard to understand why. It deliciously combines women's rights issues, religion and, media's favorite topic, the Middle East, all in one bite-sized package of scandal.
Many years ago, when I was a feisty 16-year-old, I had a meaningful experience at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. No, it wasn't a religious awakening or a spiritual vision. Rather, it was a new understanding of the power of compromise.
For too many centuries, sometimes under the guise of culture and tradition, sometimes with the excuse of blaming foreign cultures, we have allowed the essence of the Vedas and the essence of womanhood to be muddied by society's bullies. How long will we tolerate it?
For the first time, a woman -- me -- is taking the helm at the Academy for Jewish Religion, only the second woman ever to hold the presidency of a rabbinical school. What does it mean?
In the weeks before I was ordained as a rabbi, my husband Peter asked: "What will you say when people ask you what kind of a rabbi you are?" What did he mean what kind? What was I supposed to say?
Mary believes, Mary ponders, Mary grieves -- an inspiration to modern people, ever experiencing extraordinary joy and extraordinary loss in the midst of ordinary life.
As we look beyond this day of rare focus and promises, we need to push our discussions of the religious dimensions of contemporary women's issues beyond the "safe" territory of politically correct language and bland assumptions.
Empathy is never easy. As a man, I confess that I have struggled to be empathetic to the cause of a group of women that has been coming to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem for close to a quarter century to pray in protest of the religious freedom they lack. But ater this morning, the Women of the Wall have my respect and my support.