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I thought I get things started by posting this question. There's a common misconception that Judaism (like other monotheistic religions) is male-based and degrading to women. I can't tell you the countless times I've had to dispel that myth (those who post and/or lurk in the religious debate board can account for that, lol) but it seems that people are still determined to believe that Judaism undermines the value of women, when in fact, it's quite the opposite.
So what are your views about Judaism and women and what do you base those ideas on?
Well I am a Jewish Feminist, so YES it is. I did one of my undergrad thesis's on this actually (I double majored and one of my majors was women's studies). Judaism is definitely feminist, there are aspects of it which can be difficult to reconcile, but it is not impossible.
I think Judaism is def not male based. I do think, though, that until you understand the religion in the entirety (i.e. mens obligations and womens etc) you wont see the balance there actually exists. I think it is very difficult for the man to uphold the obligations of prayer, teffilin, his obligations to his wife and family etc. But then again, I can only see it from a female point of view...... it is hard to judge.
Some misguided people claim that there should be a difference in the first place, that the mere fact that men and women are different means that hashem intended one of them to be "inferior". I personally think that's completely ridiculous. What would be the purpose of Creation, of humankind if we were all complete and exactly the same? How would we grow and learn without a "counterpart" to gives what we lack, to need what we can give him/her and to challenge us into helping us grow? I guess I cannot understand why someone will think that the concept of "different" is a negative one.
I would absolutely agree with you ladies. I think that men and women fulfill different roles within Judaism with neither being superior to the other. I love what I bring to my family as a Jewish woman carrying on our jewish faith and traditions.
I belong to a reform synagogue which is very egalitarian and the women are every bit as important as the men. But I would also say that in general, women's roles and men's roles in Judaism are somewhat different, but both needed.