To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)


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You can stop doing many things and then re-start. I think your logic is a bit twisted. As someone above pointed out, this is not only about you. People will see you without a kippah, your family and friends and nobody will understand and rightfully so. If you want the kippah to mean more go learn some Torah about it.

I think this article creates a dangerous precedent because it suggests that when something is not meaningful anymore we just stop doing it. You are one of the strong ones. No particular mitzvah or act has the power to give you constant G-d awareness. Only your mind has that power. Wearing a kippa is just an external statement that you are a Jew doing your best to serve Hashem!

Identity and identification are necessarily but perhaps unfortunately two different things. The Rabbi is wrestling with implications of identity, but implications of identification are blurring the issues. Rabbi Cordozo, yasher koach for openly talking about the tension between observance and religiosity.

We will not be satisfied unless and until Torah and Mitzvot, Tefila and Jewish community all serve as chanels for personal dveikut with the divine. Such is the teaching of the Slonimer Rebbe and other Chassidic masters.


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But the very act of chosing a kippa that may be outside of your comfort zone will bring you back to its deeper significance. As for me, I did stop wearing skirts for several years when I specifically did not want to be identified with the Orthodox community anymore.

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Baruch Hashem, when my spiritual quest came full circle, and I rediscovered that there is no better path for me than the one trodden by my ancestors, I was able to reclaim my place in the Orthodox world with new ferver. Now I know that yes, I am able to dress and live differently, but I make a conscious choice to embrace the value of sanctity, modesty, and humily, and the skirt then becomes a symbol of just that. It has attained a position as a sign to other Jews and non-Jews. Taqking it off as a personal statement will get lost.

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If you want to, move somewhere where wearing it is still considered unusual. I have spent time in all sorts of neighborhoods and in many of them, I am still making a statement while wearing it. Then, when I return home, to a neighborhood in which wearing it is only somewhat unusual, I appreciate it even more. Instead of reacting by removing the kippah, maybe remove yourself from a comfort zone. Remember — the Pilgrims came to the new world not because of religious intolerance, but because of tolerance. With no outside opposition in Amsterdam, they succumbed to assimilation.

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Rabbi Cardozo wants to provoke in order to provoke thought. And this is one of his best articles so far. He is one of the only Rabbis that I know that are honest and believe that struggling with his religion is a good thing. Rabbi Cordoza, I want to say that I attended your teachings back in the earliest days of Ohr Sameach for women. You were my portal back into Judaism and I will forever be grateful for the thought-provoking teachings you shared with us on Wednesday evenings in Jerusalem.

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I find this article exciting — we all need to look at the things we do by rote and force ourselves into a new awareness. There are too many wearing kippot who have forgotten what a kippah is meant to do. Thank you for reminding us. On the other end of the spectrum the haraadim are taking out women…. Wow… such brazen honesty. Major kudos, Rabbi, I wish I experienced that type of candor growing up amongst the Orthodox community that was far more worried about what others thought about them than what G-d did.

The commenters here who think that removing the Kippa sets a dangerous precedent are missing the point. It is unfortunate to me that Leah has returned back to her cherished ritual which is familiar to her. She equates the Kippa and wearing skirts as Orthodox. We are not a united people because nobody can eat together — he waits 1 hour, she waits 3, he waits into the fifth hour and she waits 6 hours. One group eats rice on Pesach and the other fears seeing a grain in the house. Hillel said long ago and what makes us Jews, along with the fundamental tenets of our religion.

Jewish Beauty is far more than skin deep. It is a problem all of us struggle with daily. However, he will still be faced with myriad observances that present the exact same challenge, which it is not so easy to squirm out of. Prayer, for instance.

To Stay or to Flee - Hakirah.org

I am so frustrated when instead of having a daily conversation with my Creator, I am sitting with this book mumbling words out of it just to get it out of the way, not able to connect to them in any way because I am just so used to them. Does this mean I should stop praying? Only pray on Shabbat or Yamim Tovim? Absolutely not, say Chazal. You have an obligation. I read an article by a very wise woman about the halachot of Taharat HaMishpacha which many women struggle to connect with.

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She said something that really stuck with me. She suggests that before we agree or disagree, before we protest our discomfort, let us listen to what Chazal are telling us by fashioning these halachot in this particular way. What are they telling us about our nature as women or as Jews? What are they telling us about their vision of an ideal relationship between us and our fellow man, between us and God? And what does our comfort or discomfort with these halachot tell us about us? It appears that Chazal very deliberately created the obligation of tefilla to be tedious and routine.

They could easily have ruled that three spontaneous, heartfelt prayers of our own invention could be made throughout the day, and perhaps a set liturgy only on Shabbat and Yom Tov. But instead they created a very lengthy and strict liturgy to follow every single day.


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Before I accuse them of having made a mistake, of creating a situation in which it is impossible to connect to God through this kind of prayer, and try to find a way to wriggle out of this obligation… let me ask myself, what are they trying to tell me? What are they trying to achieve?

What can I learn from my discomfort about myself and my weaknesses in serving Hashem in the way He wants to be served?

I was hoping I might find one at the end of your essay, and I was disappointed. I just felt a need to share my thoughts after mulling this essay over since yesterday. A perhaps simple solution due to it being permitted by Halacha would be to occasionally take it off. This could be done when one is performing spiritual acts or whenever spiritual inspiration is needed while one is alone and thus avoids the other issues cited. The Kippah itself has no inherent active value at least not regarding these matters.

To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)
To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9) To Flee or to Stay? (Hakirah Single from volume 9)

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