Women And Tefillin

Women And Tefillin

Your Feb. 7 article, “For Orthodox Women, Catch-22 on Tefillin,” ends
with a quotation that suggests that the reason Orthodox women have little to
no interest in wearing tefillin is that “Not only is it a huge undertaking, but there is so much cultural animosity towards it, why would you do it?”

As an Orthodox woman, my life is filled with observances that are a huge
undertaking. A few that come to mind include, covering my hair, observing the
laws of niddah [family purity] and mikveh, keeping a kosher kitchen and making Shabbos — all of
which, while accepted in my immediate circle, are not normative or accepted
in the broader Jewish culture, let alone, the secular culture.

Following in the tradition of the women of valor that came
before us, Orthodox women do not shy away from huge undertakings (cleaning
for Pesach!), and rather welcome them with open arms if we believe it is what God
wants of us. But God does not appear in your article. He was there implicitly
in the sincere comments that spoke of increasing “commitment” or “Jewish
connection,” but His name is not mentioned, and I found that telling. I may
believe that God wants a lot of things from me on a daily basis, but putting
on tefillin is not one of them.


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