Has Your Religion Apologized To Women?
So, the good news: my bizarre belly bulge – it wasn’t the baby bravely exploring internal territory that should have been inaccessible to him (the ‘him’ comes out instinctively- no genital evidence yet).
The bad news?
That bulge was a piece of my internal organs popped out of place and pushing through my skin. Lovely, no? This pregnancy thing is way grosser than I knew….
But hey, welcome me to the second trimester!!!! They promise me some of the misery will abate soon… I hope they’ll forward that message to the waves of nausea and acid reflux that still appear like clockwork each night…
I was walking in Manhattan and this poster caught my eye (see pic – sorry its rotated, it refuses to load right way up): ‘Has Your Religion Apologized to Women?’ What a radical idea. Wouldn’t it be something if our religion could acknowledge what it’s done, let alone apologize, to women? I had so much fun imagining it in my Purim piece….
It reminds me of Miriam, particularly relevant for this time of year. When I was a Sufi, my Sheikha once spent some time during services talking about Miriam, sister of Moses, and how she was a “dervish” (a Sufi practitioner who spins in spiritual ecstasy), dancing when the Jews left Egypt. I was struck by her story, and really sad at the idea that this Muslim woman was celebrating my Jewish ancestor who had been minimized almost to oblivion in my own tradition.
Regardless of how you understand Biblical stories – as factual truths or enduring mythology, they do play an important role in our culture. And now, as some of us are thinking about Passover, as those stories, shaped by the men who ruled our youth, are taking up space in our minds, I want to remind us about the hidden stories – the stories of Miriam and Zipporah – and countless other women whose names we will never know….
I wonder what Judaism would look like if women had never ceded control to a patriarchy, if our history had been told and our traditions shaped, by both halves of the population…Printable Version