Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There is a reason

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There is a reason she is my teacher and my friend. She challenges me to go deeper. To venture, to journey. She takes my petty issues seriously. Like they matter.

She says, "Try to ask yourself what the resistance is about? Is it simply appearance or style? Is about an inner audience that you are appealing to (btw, we all have those, actually) or is it about 'the consensus of the pious' - what other folks, guided by other halachic standards might say? there is no right or wrong here. what is important is to discover, for yourself, what drives your decision. It could be a real learning experience. Hugs to you as you journey through this."

In reality, how we choose (or not choose) to cover our heads says a lot about who we are, where we are as women. I think in my brand of feminism, egalitarianism doesn't mean "the same"; instead, it means equal worth. Sometimes, for an outward sign of equal worth, it is necessary to create counterparts to already existing rituals. Example: Brit for the boys; naming ceremony for the girls.

That doesn't mean though that I want to take on time-bound commandments. Because I don't. Or that I want to wear tallit. Because I don't. Or that I want to wear kippah. Because I don't.

I don't. But I do. I want the outward sign, the reminder, the identifier, the live-under-the-holiness. Just not in the form of a kippah. It feels uncomfortable for me. What drives this? An inner instinct. My perception of how other halachic peoples see this. My assocation of it with the Jewish male. My observation of what goes with it--tallit, tefillin, etc. My desire to have my foot in Modernity while still incorporating the traditional into my culture and brand of things. My desire to progress.

It is very personal for me. I truly have nothing against women wearing them. Carol, Enid, Heidi, Lauren, Sue, Celeste. Strong, admirable and deeply spiritual/religious women who wear kippot.

I will continue to explore that drives this decision, this feeling. And I will continue to experiment with hats and scarves in my every day religious life, and doilies in my synagague religious life...all while I still exploring kippah-wearing and whether it has a role for me.

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