Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quote of the day

There is a daily prayer said by Orthodox Jewish men called "shelo asani isha". This translates into the following:

"Blessed are you, oh lord our god, king of the universe, who has not made me a woman."

The prayer also includes two other parts in which the men thank god for not creating them as slaves or gentiles.

I looked into this a little bit to see how Orthodox Jews could possibly justify something so blatantly offensive, and the result was a little disappointing, albeit completely unsurprising. The fact is, religion doesn't need to offer justification. Orthodox Jews don't care if they are offending your modern sensibilities because they are not trying to assimilate into modern society. Quite the contrary - they are resisting it with full force. Reform Judaism is the only sect that tries to pretend that men and women are equal under its tenants. But when you pick and choose what part of your religion to follow just so that some people will feel more welcome, the credibility of your faith begins to erode. In a strange way, I do at least have some respect for the Orthodox Jews who don't try to water down their beliefs just to move with the times. Still, this minute respect is massively overshadowed by how disgusted I am by any religion that remains completely unapologetic for its active misogyny.

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