Quote of the Day: "Where have all the Men Gone?"


Balance. Something we are supposed to always have, yet often lack. Yinon is our understanding of Jewish life – progressive, yet traditional. Empowering, yet leading. This understanding also extends to the participation of men and women in Jewish ritual life.

I have long been an advocate for the spiritual empowerment of women within Judaism, and have been especially vocal in support of women being ordained as rabbis within Messianic Judaism.

And although I agree women should be empowered within ritual life, I am at the same time growing more aware that men are disappearing from ritual life. And not just in Judaism. We are also seeing other faiths address this issue. For example, I was recently made aware of a book called, Why Men Hate Going to Church, written from a Christian perspective.

The reasons are complex and are far more complicated. However, I and others are convinced that finding balance is the key. The answer is not to stop empowering women. It should not be a choise of one over the other. The answer will be in finding ways to empower men as men, and women as women – to reach our fullest potentials TOGETHER as being B’tzelem Elohim – created in the image of G-d.

Our quote of the day is taken from a recent interview on Jewcy with Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, one of the rabbis of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City – by far one of the most vibrant and successful synagogues of our time.

I am a product of the feminist revolution, so the fact that women lead most of the activities of our congregation never bothered me. I have always thought that the people who want to get involved, will get involved. I never paid attention to whether those people were men or women. But suddenly, I began to hear people talk, and began to listen to others and even pay attention to what it was in front of my eyes. Also recently, I participated in a conversation at NYU on gender and education. Speakers said that finding a male educator, a male teacher in New York, would be very soon like finding a diamond in the street. They are that rare.

… Well, I started a men’s group, not because the men asked, but because I noticed these things … I should say that creating a men’s group at my synagogue, a very politically progressive synagogue in New York, was very politically incorrect. I thought someone would cut my head off.

So, before starting the group I went to talk to a feminist friend. I told her I wanted to start a men’s group, and asked her opinion. She said, I love what you are doing. Why, I asked. She said, In the beginning, feminists chopped the testicles off men. That was a necessary act of war. Afterwards, when we achieved some equality, we sat and cried. Where are the men? They oppressed us, so we castrated them. So I like that you are trying to celebrate the differences without imposing power.

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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45 Responses to Quote of the Day: "Where have all the Men Gone?"

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a vile thing to publish immediately after a posting entitled "Genesis in Context": "In the beginning, feminists chopped the testicles off men".The content of this blog bears precious little resemblance to the theology and decorum the Jews inherited from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  2. J.K. McKee says:

    I appreciate the honesty in which this blog has been written. The Jewish and evangelical Christian worlds are a bit ahead of the curve than our own broad Messianic community. Regardless of which slice you cut it, my experience over 15 years has been that the Messianic world is a bit too Baptistic when it comes to women in ministry. We sit a little too far at the fundie side of the spectrum regarding this issue. Even some of our professionally trained leaders get heart palpitations when the discussion arises.I do not think that the Messianic world is in danger of being "overrun" by female leaders anytime soon. I think that female leaders need to possess the same training and credentials as male leaders, anyway–and some of our male leaders do not have them! But when arguing in favor of women in leadership, we will encourage an environment where the talents and skills of everyone are equally appreciated, and where the Lord is more likely to accomplish His purposes than if only men are allowed to leave.(We'll discuss the use of some, albeit moderate, inclusive language at another time. But it is true that using terms like "mankind" or "brothers" exclusively does not help, either.)

  3. orgadol says:

    Fantastic post!For people of my generation who grew up or were primarily formed as Jews outside of Orthodoxy, egalitarianism assumed as normative. Thank you for addressing (or at least attempting to initiate the conversation on) how to make egalitarianism work instead of conducting the same arguments over its legitimacy.And the interview with Bronstein mad me love my Conservative shul all the more for the awesome Men's Club and nearly 1:1 gender ratio most Saturdays.

  4. J.K. McKee says:

    CORRECTION: That is, "if only men are allowed to LEAD."

  5. Rabbi Joshua says:

    J.K. McKee-Thanks for commenting. I was not necessarily inferring that the Messianic Movement is currently in the midst of being overrun by women. On the contrary, I agree with you. We still have plenty of room to grow in our empowerment of women spiritually. However, I also think that it is not too late to build a movement that will not suffer with the same kind of identity crises. We can be aware now of creating a spiritual environment which empowers both men and women.

  6. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Orgadol-Thanks for your comment. That is why I also appreciate those shuls that have found ways to create an empowering environment for both men AND women. For it is not a matter of one or the other, but rather communities of mutual blessing.

  7. J.K. McKee says:

    As an egalitarian, I know that my thoughts on gender roles are disregarded by many people, even teachers and leaders. I recently attended a Messianic wedding where the vows exchanged (at least according to this congregation) insisted that the woman submit to the wife, and that the husband lead the household, based in what I see is a misreading of the mutual submission ideal of Ephesians 5.I guess I kinda think that the egalitarian issue for us is sort of like handing one of our male leaders a pair of pliers, a mirror, and then tell him to pull out his back molars! Not impossible to overcome, but there will be a lot of pain.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The problem arises when we start to confuse between 'equality in rights' and 'equality in roles'. I believe HaShem created us all equal. But HE also assigned us different roles. If we start to believe that by having the same roles we achieve equality, then we are sadly mistaken. Does a man have to walk on his hands, just so that his hands can achieve equality with his feet? What if the ears would want to have equality with the feet and decide to walk "on his ears"? The person who does this will look totally ridiculous. And so we have become the same. In our constant arguing whether one should "submit" to the other. Or whether 'this' or 'that' role is solely for one, has left us as a body of believers looking totally like a fool.The hands as well as the other parts of the body "submit" to the feet when the feet takes the body for a walk. But does this mean that they are not equal to the feet?

  9. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "Does a man have to walk on his hands, just so that his hands can achieve equality with his feet? What if the ears would want to have equality with the feet and decide to walk "on his ears"?"Succinctly put.

  10. J.K. McKee says:

    Anyone who is going to use language like "Does a man….?" in a discussion about gender equality just doesn't get it. I have read plenty of complimentarian writers, who do not believe in women in leadership, yet who recognize that more gender neutral terms should be employed to encourage fairer discussion. Today's Messianic movement, however, still pretty patriarchal…regardless of what slice it is.

  11. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "more gender neutral terms should be employed to encourage fairer discussion."Aah, political gender uber correctness of post-feminist, post-male-emasculation era of America… how glad I am that I was sheltered from its clutches in my youth and in my own family."One small step for a human male and female, one giant leap for human male and female kind"

  12. J.K. McKee says:

    Please, Gene, your sarcasm is not appreciated. As a Messianic Jewish congregational leader you should be consciously aware that within the Hebrew Tanach itself gender neutral and gender specific terms are used. The term /adam, for example, speaks of humanity in general or a human being, whereas ish concerns a male and ishah concerns a female. Greek has similiar gender neutral and gender specific terms.I am only a moderate advocate of inclusive language, so I will not flinch if someone uses man or mankind. But using those terms exclusively can be problematic, especially due to the changing contours of modern English. I expect that when we go back to the Moon or or to Mars to likely hear "humanity" used as the word of choice.

  13. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Anonymous-Your use of the above allegories only emphasizes the complexity of this discussion. Afterall, men and women both have "feet," we both have "ears," "hands," etc. The differences are more subtle (and yet still may often be obvious). However, at the same time we may also have similar and same roles. We may even have similar functions. However, we should be careful not to represent the few distinctions as though they are broadbrushed realities.

  14. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Gene-McKee is correct in pointing out that language defines proximity. It can either bring us closer or push us away from one another. In using language that reinforces stereotypes we only further alienate others from our midst.

  15. Gene Shlomovich says:

    J.K. McKee…Sorry, that wasn't sarcasm, but heartfelt expression of frustration at the current state of affairs and at political correctness that actually stifles progress and action(IMHO). The story about Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein illustrates this progression well. It's an honest and eye opening story of confusion mixed with fear.1. He is a self-described "product of the feminist revolution"2. Blinded to gender roles and differences by his upbringing3. Realized that his Judaism had a problem (lack of male teachers / leaders), but only from someone else and when it was too late (they were like a "diamond")4. Feared that starting a men's group would get him in trouble within his progressive faith5. Went to seek approval (ahem, "opinion") of his "feminist friend".6. Was told of the real effect "feminist revolution" had on men (from a feminist of all sources).However, the very fact that Joshua posted this tells me that he does very much want to tackle this issue before it gets out of hand. I commend him for it.

  16. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Thanks, Gene.

  17. J.K. McKee says:

    Gene, thank you for your thoughts.

  18. Phillip Bejerano says:

    "However, at the same time we may also have similar and same roles. We may even have similar functions. However, we should be careful not to represent the few distinctions as though they are broadbrushed realities."Josh, you missed my point.Our own personal biases have clouded our perspective on the matter of equality. Let us once more turn to the One who created us: HaShem created us male and female. We are equal in that both male and female where created in HIS image. But HE also assigned roles to each one. After the fall, when HaShem proclaimed:“Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you."B’resheet 3:16 Was this merely a “suggestion”? Or do we think in our so-called “modern society” we can now “undo” what HaShem has proclaimed?Can Adam “exchange” his G*D given role and be a mother to children?Yes, a man and a woman can achieve anything that they aspire to be. But this aspiration must always be in context HaShem’s will for our lives. Ultimately, we (both man and woman) must answer to HIM whether we obeyed and abided HIS will for our lives.

  19. J.K. McKee says:

    Look at how teshuqah is used in parallel later in Genesis 4:7, in God's word to Cain:"Sin couches at the door; Its urge [teshuqah] is toward you, Yet you can be its master" (NJPS).Eve having an "urge" for her husband, and Adam having to rule her is part of the punishment for being ejected from the Garden.This is a punishment that I affirm, as a Believer in Messiah Yeshua, His work has nullified. Prior to this point, man and woman were both equals in the Garden in both stature and responsibility. The responsibilities that remain gender specific now should only be those determined by differences in anatomy, not intellect.

  20. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "Eve having an "urge" for her husband, and Adam having to rule her is part of the punishment for being ejected from the Garden. This is a punishment that I affirm, as a Believer in Messiah Yeshua, His work has nullified. "J.K. McKee ..so, following this line of thinking, do your also affirm that Yeshua nullified the pain of childbirth which was and still is specifically part of the same punishment? If not, why not? Also, does it mean that those who are "not saved" are still ruled by their husbands, while believing wives are no longer under such rule (curse)? Or did Yeshua nullify this for everyone?

  21. J.K. McKee says:

    Gene, one part of the curse is clearly sociological, and another part is physical. The same is true with possessing "eternal life." Believers already have eternal life in that they can restored communion with God right now before the age to come, even though the age to come will bring eternal life to full consummation–redeemed bodies and all. Encouraging an environment where the Genesis 3:16 battle of the sexes no longer rages is a significant part of living the life of the age to come, restoring what was lost.We are not people of the present evil age that is marred by the effects of the Fall (cf. Galatians 1:4). It is the responsibility of the faith community to overturn as many negative effects of the Fall as they can.Consider your statements, and consider the ideal life of those in Messiah–and the life of those not in Him. Those not in Him often suffer from a great deal more than husbands and wives not functioning as equal partners in marriage.I would encourage all who are intrigued by this discussion to read much of the extant theological literature that has been written in the past few decades. Getting your information from just a blog or website is insufficient. Demonstrate yourselves to be able students, and do the required homework.

  22. Phillip Bejerano says:

    “It is the responsibility of the faith community to overturn as many negative effects of the Fall as they can.”Yes, it is. But…Do we also overturn HaShem’s established set role HE assigned to both man and woman?“Submit to one another in fear of the Messiah. Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the L-RD; because the husband is the head of the wife, just as the Messiah, as the head of the Messianic Community, is himself the one who keeps the body safe. Just as the Messianic Community submits to the Messiah, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”Ephesians 5:21-24Where do we draw the line between submission and equality? Who placed the husband as the “head of the wife”? Is this a mere “invention” of man to dominate women? Of course not!We must always keep in mind, that G-D will never contradict Himself. HE will not establish one law only to abolish it the next minute. A postponement perhaps, but never a contradiction. “The responsibilities that remain gender specific now should only be those determined by differences in anatomy, not intellect.”There was never this delineation in the first place. Intellectual difference was and is never an issue. As I said, HaShem created man and woman equal. It is the role HE gives each one that is different. Do we view equality from the view point of man or from how G-D sees us all as equal?

  23. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Phillip-Genesis 3:16 should be read in context. For the Torah also states that G-d created Eve from Adam's side.Why the side?According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, the father of Modern Orthodoxy, the woman’s body was built from one side of the man’s, and not from the ground, so that the single human being became two, thereby demonstrating irrefutably the equality of men and women. Although I do not deny the possible differences in gender roles and responsibilities, these possible distinctions do not however limit the role of women in the majority of spiritual capacities, nor in leadership.

  24. J.K. McKee says:

    No one who is theologically conservative, and yet egalitarian, is arguing for an annulment of a Biblical law or that God flip-flops. At most, I would suggest, there would be an halachic expansion of some male-specific commands in the Pentateuch that can certainly be granted to women in the post-resurrection era (commands which when viewed in their original ANE context were quite subversive against other law codes). I do not think anyone today will honestly argue that only men, for example, should be those allowed a divorce on the grounds of unfaithfulness, in spite of this being how the Torah seems to read (i.e., Deut 24:1).Too many Bible readers make the false assumption that "head" always means "authority," when it does not. Consider the viewpoint commonly proposed by evangelical egalitarians of "source" as the proper meaning of kephalē (especially per my previous remark about making sure that you are familiar with the discussion going on in contemporary theology).The term kephalē meaning "source" in Ephesians 5:23 fits the theme of mutual submission quite well–especially as the husband would have to treat his wife as his own body. This would be no different than Adam recognizing that Eve came from her, and how the wife is treated is a reflection of how the husband should treat himself.There is a significant amount of information out there on how the code of Ephesians 5:21-6:9 subverted many of the contemporary household views of Asia Minor, the audience to which this instruction was originally written. Once again, do not expect to get all of your theology exclusively from blogging. Expect instead to be challenged to dig into things for yourself.

  25. J.K. McKee says:

    CORRECTION: "that Eve came from him"

  26. Phillip Bejerano says:

    “these possible distinctions do not however limit the role of women in the majority of spiritual capacities, nor in leadership.”Josh, Nor did I say that they should be limited.As I said, as HaShem created man and women in HIS image, so too does HE bestow HIS gifts of ‘spiritual capacities’ equally. And there are many-a-women leaders that I admire and respect.What I am referring to are those who flatly refuse to accept “submission” in the same context that we are admonished that we should submit to the authority of Messiah Yeshua as the head of the body of believers.So I am left with two questions:Are we to have two different definitions of “submission”? One reserved for believers submitting to the authority of G-D, and the other type of submission to be taken in the context of equality?Or are we to submit to Messiah Yeshua and treat HIM as our equal as well?

  27. Phillip Bejerano says:

    “The term kephalē meaning "source" in Ephesians 5:23 fits the theme of mutual submission quite well–especially as the husband would have to treat his wife as his own body.”J.K., I would like to respectfully disagree.“Kephalè” is a Greek female noun that refers to the head of either a person or an animal. Never does it refer to as source. And those who suggest otherwise, in my opinion, have compromised Scriptures for the sake of political correctness. To make Ephesians 5:21-24 more “palatable” in today’s modern society. And to me, this just will not do.Because when Ephesians 5:21-24 is taken in its full context, “source” as the meaning of ‘Kephalè’ just does not make sense.Eph. 5:21 says, “Submit to one another in fear (Gk. ‘Phobos’: fear;dread;terror) of the Messiah.” Can we “fear” an “equal source”?“Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the L-RD; because the husband is the head of the wife, just as the Messiah, as the head of the Messianic Community, is himself the one who keeps the body safe..”As I asked Rabbi Joshua, do we submit to an “equal source”? Do we also view our submission to the L-RD as if HE is our equal?

  28. Gene Shlomovich says:

    J.K. McKee, the "mutual submission" argument between husband and wife makes VERY little sense in light of 1 Peter 3:1-5"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands… For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."Sarah is said to have called Abraham her "master" and this is used as example for the women followers of Yeshua to follow in regards to their own husbands (even the unbelieving ones who certainly would care less about MUTUAL submission!). Just taking the word "master" for what it means, does a "master" mutually submit to a "servant"?How can the above be spun to mean something other then what it says?Please, this has nothing to do with "fundies" or Baptists.

  29. J.K. McKee says:

    Gene, you are doing selective proof texting, and I seriously doubt you have weighed all the relevant data into the equation. You have left out 1 Peter 3:6-7 which does emphasize mutual honor to be shown a wife by her husband, not to mention the many examples of women in leadership in both the Tanach and Apostolic Scriptures.You are also not following the responsible rule of interpreting these words for what they meant to Peter's audience first, before applying them in a Twenty-First Century setting. What were the social mores that Peter was having to confront? This was not written directly to you.I agree with you that this has nothing to do with any particular denomination–but it does have to do with people in the broad Messianic world who have fundamentalist roots. The issue of mutual submission, women in ministry, etc., has been a longstanding disagreement I have had for the past 15 years in Messianic quarters (be they Messianic Jewish, One Law, Two-House, whatever). I don't expect things to change anytime soon, and as I said, discussing this with some people is like seeing them pull out their own teeth.

  30. J.K. McKee says:

    What lexical source are you using for kephalē? Strong's?Go to the Lidell-Scott Lexicon, and you will see that one of the available definitions is most certainly: "the head or source of a river" (p. 430). No "compromise" as you call it has taken place. (And please, I would caution you to become a little familiar with the theological writing out there on this subject before you just start haphazardly blowing holes through it.)Submitting one to another in the Body of Messiah is to take place because we fear Him.

  31. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "I don't expect things to change anytime soon, and as I said, discussing this with some people is like seeing them pull out their own teeth."Perhaps this is because they are being asked to consider the "merits" of pulling out healthy, natural teeth and putting in dentures instead."Submitting one to another in the Body of Messiah is to take place because we fear Him."Is there a place for any leadership within this "mutual submission" framework? Any role differentiation, or is everyone equally a leader? Does that exclude husband's leadership in his family?"You are also not following the responsible rule of interpreting these words for what they meant to Peter's audience first, before applying them in a Twenty-First Century setting. What were the social mores that Peter was having to confront? This was not written directly to you."I think that there's a great danger of overemphasizing the "it was not written directly to you" argument. Bulk of the NT are basically personal letters to very specific groups of people. Therefore, any controversial contents can be dismissed as meant for someone else, and not for the modern man (human being).

  32. J.K. McKee says:

    Gene, within a mutual submission framework, husbands and wives lead the household together as partners who are in regular communication with one another on all matters. They are a team as Adam and Eve were originally supposed to be. My grandparents and parents were partners together in marriage, and made all of the important decisions together.There is not at all a "great danger" as you call it, for contextualizing the household code data in the Apostolic Scriptures–because in both Colossians and Ephesians instruction is also given regarding slaves. This is not at all a dismissal hermeneutic, but recognizing that these epistles do frequently reflect a much different social setting than ours today.Again, I encourage you as a Messianic Jewish congregational leader to do a little homework, by at least purchasing a copy of something like Zondervan's Two Views on Women in Ministry, as blogs are often inadequate to convey theological and academic discussions that have been going on in the past several decades.

  33. Phillip Bejerano says:

    “Go to the Lidell-Scott Lexicon, and you will see that one of the available definitions is most certainly: "the head or source of a river" (p. 430). No "compromise" as you call it has taken place..”This is plain semantics. Lidell-Scott just uses an inanimate example while Strong uses an animate (animal) as an illustration. Ultimately, when we interpret Scriptures we must follow the rule of Exegesis and let Scripture interpret itself. And not infer our own personal biases into it. As for the Greek word “Kephalè”, instead of arguing semantics, let us look into Scripture itself and see how the term is used. The same Greek word Kephalè is used in the following verses in Mattityahu (Mathew): 6:17, 8:20, 10:30 and 21:42. And particularly in Mattityahu 21:42 when Messiah Yeshua quotes from Tehillim (Psalm) 118:22, the word ‘Kephalè’ is the same Hebrew word “Ro’sh”. And nowhere in all these verses mentioned does ‘Kephalè’ imply “source of a river”. And this is what I mean by “compromising G-D’s Word”. That when a particular concept does not “jive” with the present sociological standard, there is then an attempt to “redefine” Scriptures. Redefine to “fit” the present political correctness of our society. And this as I said earlier, will just not do.

  34. Monique says:

    I just wanted to point out here that we're 32 comments deep into a conversation on women's spiritual roles that's been conducted exclusively by men.Has that occurred to anyone else?

  35. Monique says:

    unless, that is, one (or both) of our anonymous commentators happen to be female

  36. Gene Shlomovich says:

    OK J.K… let's continue. Please explain to me, in the light of your claim that it's only AFTER falling from grace did man started to have authority over a woman, the following statement by Paul:"1 Cor. 11:9-10 – "man WAS NOT created for the woman's sake, but woman for the MAN'S SAKE. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head."The above clearly refers to the "before fall" conditions.Even after the fall, even though Eve sinned first, G-d approached ADAM first (not Eve). Why? Is it not because she was under his authority even before the "curses"?Another sign of the fact that male leadership within G-d's framework is something has he will preserve into the eternity is the fact the his twelve chosen MALE apostles will be judges over all of Israel and their names will be inscribed on New Jerusalem's very foundations.Scriptures give us example after example of male leadership, not only in the Tanakh, but in apostles' own writings as well. For every vague example of "egalitarianism", there are 10 (or more) examples of male authority and exhortation to women to submit to it. THe burden of proof is on those who relegate this to the "times".Just as some theorize that the G-d-established male authority over a female has been made obsolete by Yeshua, others say that Yeshua made Torah obsolete. I see definite parallels in both of the claims and a clear connection. Torah as given to Israel spells out male leadership over and over (small example: husband can cancel his wife "oath" Numbers 30:8). Those who claim egalitarianism must contend with the fact that they make Torah, at least huge chunks of it, null and no longer applicable.

  37. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "I just wanted to point out here that we're 32 comments deep into a conversation on women's spiritual roles that's been conducted exclusively by men."Monique… if this was a Reform blog I am sure that this would have been reversed:)!

  38. J.K. McKee says:

    I have found this discussion very enlightening as to the current array of opinions floating around the broad Messianic world, and I will end with the following statements:1. I have never been down on men in leadership. I don't think the Messianic world is going to ever see that many women in leadership. But, I do think that if husbands and wives were to be encouraged to work together as a team, and that if we were generally not "down" on women in leadership as a faith community–far less division would be present among us. More would be able to use their spiritual giftings.2. There are exegetical issues regarding "head" in the Scriptures, the many examples of male leaders, but also the various examples of female leaders, that a blog discussion alone cannot do justice to. I have encouraged those who have participated to look into the various writings produced by evangelical, conservative egalitarians, who have a high regard for the Bible as do I. If they choose not to this, then that is their choice (and their loss).3. I want to make it clear that I am no liberal, and nor do I think huge swafs of Torah commandments are totally annulled simply because in the post-resurrection era I think gender equality has been brought via the work of Messiah. On the contrary, I believe many Torah commandments can be halachically expanded to now apply to men and women equally. Again, are we actually going to argue against a woman divorcing her husband for legitimate reasons? The Pentateuch seems to imply that only men can divorce. (And as I have written in various articles, I would absolutely argue in favor of a wife being able to cancel her husband's word today–especially if they really are in mutual submission and he has really erred with the family in serious jeopardy.)4. Finally, the issue of women in ministry is a longstanding disagreement I have with just about ALL of the Messianic movement since the mid-1990s. Much of this discussion only reinforces my long held opinion that the Messianic world is a few decades behind where it needs to be, especially in this area. It is also one of the signficant reasons why my ministry will remain independent and unaffilated with any of the groups out there, for a good long while!The Lord's blessings to you as we prepare to end this week. This will be my final post, and if any of you want to discuss this subject any further with me, contact me privately. I have other things that I must attend to this week.

  39. Phillip Bejerano says:

    This too would be my last word on the subject at hand:As with anything else in this world, our relationship with HaShem has always been about choice.From the day HE created Adam and Eve, HE gave them the freedom to choose whether to obey HIM or not. Even today, HE gives us the freedom to chose whether we would “Love the L-RD our G-D will all our hearts..” and to acknowledge that “Yeshua is Adonai to the glory of G-D” or not.Whether we chose to obey HIS Mitvot (commandments) is up to us.Yeshua Messiah not only taught us this. But HE also showed to us the ultimate act of humility and submission.“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Messiah Yeshua, who, although He existed in the form of G-d, did not regard equality with G-d a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-7“For this reason also, G-d highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,”Philippians 2:9What is important to note here is that Messiah Yeshua chose to submit in humility to the will of HaShem. Thereby fulfilling HIS role as Messiah. Man and Woman were created both in the image of HaShem and so therefore are equal in HIS sight. But HE also assigned roles to each one. Just as HE assigned Moshe the role of a leader to lead Israel our of bondage. And HE assigned Yehushua (Joshua) as his assistant. Was Yehushua’s role less meaningful than Moshe’s? Of course not. In the sight of HaShem each was being obedient in accomplishing his task in the role given to them. Was Yehushua less of a man than Moshe? Again, “no”. Is therefore the wife less of a person by submitting herself to her husband? No, of course not. We all, whether man or woman, must chose for ourselves whether we would submit to HIS authority or not. To chose whether we will be faithful to observe HIS commandments of not.And in the end, all of us, man or woman, freeman or slave, leader or servant, would ultimately have to answer to HIM for our choices and our actions.Blessings and many thanks to Rabbi Joshua, Monique, J.K., Gene and all others who contributed to this discussion.And an advance Shabbat Shalom.Baruch HaShem.

  40. orgadol says:

    This is why I have so little to do with the Messianic movement.40 comments into a discussion on women in leadership, the discussion is completely centered on the interpretation of certain New Testament texts as regards to the role of women in marriage, and is between two different, equally evangelical viewpoints.

  41. orgadol says:

    This is why I spend such little time in the "Messianic" world.A 30+ comment discussion on the role of women revolved entirely on the evangelical interpretation of New Testament text as regards women in marriage.Nothing Jewish, nothing halachic.Just the Christian argument about women pastors.

  42. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "This is why I spend such little time in the "Messianic" world. A 30+ comment discussion on the role of women revolved entirely on the evangelical interpretation of New Testament text as regards women in marriage. Nothing Jewish, nothing halachic."I always get a kick when someone who came out of the church and is not Jewish (but really really wants to be!) tells Jews that they are not behaving (or talking in this case) as Jewsh or things are not Jewish enough."New Testament" is a thoroughly Jewish document steeped in First Century Jewish halachic thought and worldview. It is as Jewish to discuss as Tanya.And since you expressed yourself as "fully egalitarian" on your blog, I think that you are as biased on this particular subject as the rest of us (if not more so). But I believe that you can still contribute to the discussion with something more solid than another tired slam against Christianity or how Christian "Messianics" are.

  43. orgadol says:

    "not Jewish (but really really wants to be!)">>I am honest about my halachic status. My Jewish ancestors, who came from Germany to Spain to Latin America, are not the ancestors of my mother's mother. I'm about six months away from a real conversion (ignoring the mercenary conversion I had three or so years ago). So, sorry if I'm not Jewish enough to be able to point out that there's nothing about the previous conversation that would indicate that the people having it were not, in fact, evangelical Christians."New Testament" is a thoroughly Jewish document steeped in First Century Jewish halachic thought and worldview. It is as Jewish to discuss as Tanya.>>Absolutely. However, as Jews, it is not the only document we have. Yet the conversations never get past it. There are more issues than permission to speak and complementarian vs. egalitarian marriage views. There are halachic issues, issues of obligation to pray (and the ensuing ability to discharge that obligation for others or count in the quorum of the obligated), issues of testimony before a beit din, issues of kol isha. >>And since you expressed yourself as "fully egalitarian" on your blog, I think that you are as biased on this particular subject as the rest of us (if not more so).When I say I'm "fully egalitarian", that's a statement that I have no problem with a woman counting to a minyan or serving as a sha"tz or leining Torah or Haftarah. That does not mean that I endorse a particular view of marriage based on the NT. I actually am slightly egal-leaning on that issue but not entirely decided.

  44. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "ignoring the mercenary conversion I had three or so years ago"What kind of conversion is "mercenary"?"So, sorry if I'm not Jewish enough to be able to point out that there's nothing about the previous conversation that would indicate that the people having it were not, in fact, evangelical Christians."Apology accepted. Also, there's nothing wrong with being an Evangelical Christian or having and expressing their point of view. You yourself were one once (and perhaps even still technically is since you're not converted yet!)."There are more issues than permission to speak and complementarian vs. egalitarian marriage views."You've missed our prior discussions here and elsewhere – discussions that touched on what a women can do in a mixed religious service (other than being a rabbi) and other religious obligations."That does not mean that I endorse a particular view of marriage based on the NT. I actually am slightly egal-leaning on that issue but not entirely decided."OK, now we talking. Do share your views. What's keeping you from being fully "egal-leaning" when it comes to marriage?

  45. orgadol says:

    An invalid one, when someone with a fake ordination will make papers for anyone for a price.The above "apology" was a bit of sarcasm. But I sincerely apologize for not speaking without seeing those conversations, because it seems that all the conversations I do see wind up getting back to this issue. Care to share some links? I'm genuinely interested.I'd rather put some thought and study into a post than just blather in a comment.

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