Chabad ignorance of 'fluidity in gender expression' leads to atypical religious scene

Person appearing to be a man has religious experience denied to women in Orthodox Judaism

June 23, 2015 19:55
1 minute read.
An Orthodox Jew prays

An Orthodox Jew prays for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Chabad Shul synagogue in Warsaw January 9, 2006.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A Jewish woman has recounted on Facebook an incident that occurred in Manhattan's Union Square last week in which a Chabad worker put tefillin on her and got her to say an accompanying blessing.

Tefillin are a set of two black boxes made of hardened leather which in the Orthodox tradition are supposed to be worn only by Jewish men every day during the morning prayer service.

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The Chabad sect of Orthodox Judaism often sets up stands in urban centers where they encourage Jewish male passersby to don the tefillin. 

this happened last friday at a chabad table.apparently, buzzed hair + baggy t-shirt + charedi lack of any concept of...

Posted by Baci Weiler on Sunday, June 21, 2015
Baci Weiler was asked if she was Jewish and if she wanted to put on tefillin by the Chabad worker who seemingly did not notice that she was not biologically male.

Weiler quipped on Facebook that the mistake on the part of the Orthodox Chabadnik led to a desirable result from her perspective: egalitarianism. 

Weiler posted a photo with tefillin at the Chabad table along with the following text:

"This happened last friday at a chabad table. Apparently, buzzed hair + baggy t-shirt + charedi lack of any concept of fluidity in gender expression = egalitarianism. Tefillin with a bracha [blessing], administered by a chabadnik! bimheira beyameinu [Hebrew for "it should come speedily in our time]."


Weiler also posted on Facebook that the run in at the Chabad booth came one year after she bought her own set of tefillin.

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