“For sure, the Torah ideal is that women should not be involved in politics, but clearly, if there will be women in the Knesset anyway, then certainly one should vote for those women that will bring the most blessing to the nation.”
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, under intense public criticism from some of his own colleagues as well as from Knesset members, is trying to walk back his ruling that women should not run for public office or vote, claiming rather incredibly that his very clear words were somehow misunderstood by everyone who heard them.
Aviner now says that women can run for Knesset because parties like the Likud hold a certain number of slots on their Knesset lists for women candidates, and therefore, if women are going to hold these seats – something Aviner believes is wrong and in violation of the Torah – then the women who do so might as well be the best available from the Zionist Orthodox perspective:
“For sure, the Torah ideal is that women should not be involved in politics, but clearly, if there will be women in the Knesset anyway, then certainly one should vote for those women that will bring the most blessing to the nation,” Aviner wrote in a letter to Likud MK Tzipi Hotovelly.
Strong opposition to the Aviner’s original comments came from many sources, including prominent Zionist Orthodox Rabbi Yuval Cherlow:
“I don’t understand where this perspective came from, that a woman serving in a public office is not modest,” Cherlow said on Galei Yisrael radio station on Wednesday, adding as an aside that it is also incumbent on men to behave in a modest way in positions of public service.
“How is it possible to say that by definition a woman working in a public position is doing something immodest?” he added, saying that from his perspective women should be encouraged to participate in the political life of the country in order that their voice is heard.
Unfortunately, Chelow, a moderate, is in the minority. Aviner isn't.
All Jewish women need to understand this well – in another 30 years, give or take, the Aviners and his haredi counterparts will dominate Judaism worldwide through haredi population growth (funded by secular Jews), through control over access to Israel and its holy sites, and through monopolistic control over government-sanctioned religious services in places like Russia.
And as the non-Orthodox Jewish community in America continues to shrink (largely because non-Orthodox Jews have, on average, very few children), the same thing that is now happening in Israel will happen here.
If you are a woman, Orthodox and haredi Judaism is your enemy, not your friend.
Forget that or disregard that at your own – and your daughters' and granddaughters' – peril.
Related Post: Women Should Not Run For Elective Office Or Vote, Rabbi Says.