Male and female soldiers remember the fallen at a Remembrance Day ceremony on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
IN THE past few weeks, statements by some Israeli rabbis regarding women are a reminder of a sad fact: institutions controlled by men degrade women. Throughout history, institutions controlled by men, dictated women’s behavior out of fear of losing their power and monopoly. Taboos about what a woman can and cannot do were as true for the American Congress, which gave voting rights to slaves before women as they are for Saudi Arabia, who until recently banned female drivers. Sadly it has frequently been the case in rabbinical institutions throughout history. Misogyny is a disease that must be cured.Recently, a video was circulated on the Internet as well as shown on main Israeli news networks. The lecture was given to an all-male audience at the pre-army academy (mechina) at Eli. These are young students, bursting with motivation and a willingness to serve their country. Many, as graduates of the mechina before them, will go on to elite units in the army. In the video, Rabbi Yosef Kalner, a prominent religious leader at the academy, defines what he perceives to be the genetic and social make-up of women.