Tuesday, July 19, 2005

shelo asani eesha (...that you did not make me a women)

How would you explain the bracha that men say every morning, "Blessed are you our God, King of the World, that you did not make me a woman," if asked by a non-religious Jew/ess who really wanted to know the answer?

Obviously, if they were trying to show you how bad your religion is or was trying to use it as a push off, then the answer would change, but let's say someone seriously wanted to know the answer. Do you tell him/her that Judaism feels that men are better then women? That it is better to be a man? Would you explain the gemara that says that you can't say "...for making me a man" because of the concept that it would have been better if we weren't created at all and therefore we say all of the "for making me..." blessings in the negative.

When discussing male and female issues in Judaism I generally explain that men and women aren't different versions of the same being, they are completely different creatures. Everything about men and women are different, from the ay they look, to the way they react to events, to the way they think, to the way they feel. Our brains do not function on the same wavelength in any sense of the word. But does that make men better or just different?

I think when it all comes down to it, you have to look back at the creation to understand how things in life should be. Man was created first. It says "in the image of God, he made Man." When women were created it says he created "a helper, opposite him." While the woman's task in life is of utmost importance, it is secondary when viewed on the macro level. I think that is how I would explain the bracha shelo asani esha.


Rolling hills of green said...

I've heard you explain this bracha many different ways, I think this one is new.
Enoy your comments.

Anonymous said...

sexist woman hater.