Friday, October 21, 2005

Roles of Rebbitzens

In a Cleveland Jewish New's article on Rebbitzins the following paragraph is quite troubling as it illustrates how "Woman's Rights" has stolen the beautifulness out of the Unionship of Man and Woman:

Most younger women I know who are married to rabbis find the word rebbetzin incredibly offensive, she explains. The word implies that we have no identity outside of our husbands, that we dont have meaningful lives in our own right....

Why can't you have an "identity"- together with your husband?

The Renegade Rebbetzin also worries about how much of herself she can let her congregants see. What would they think if they knew that I not only watch plenty of television, but I bought Pirates of the Caribbean just so I could drool over Johnny Depp (and) Orlando Bloom?...

Can't it at least let it be Paul Neuman or David Schwimmer.
Now someone that feels comfortable being a wife and a woman:

Devorah Alevsky, who with husband Rabbi Leibel Alevsky runs the Chabad House of Greater Cleveland, may be the closest approximation of a traditional rebbetzin in Cleveland. While the traditional rebbetzin no longer exists in Reform, Conservative or even Modern Orthodox synagogues, Schwartz believes that she is still a force in the Lubavitcher community. Lubavitch women take on leadership roles as shluachim (emissaries) only in concert with their husbands. They go out into the world as a team to spread the joys of Judaism.
Alevsky finds the role of women in the Chabad world to be quite liberating. She explains that girls get the same education as boys, and were trained from a very young age to take on leadership roles. The mother of ten children (most of them girls), Alevsky has seen eight of her offspring grow up to run Chabad houses in places as close as Solon and as remote as Shanghai and Argentina.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 11:15 AM


Anonymous SephardiLady said...

I think being a Rebbitzen (not just any Rabbi's wife, but a shul Rabbi's wife), is a huge honor. A woman should be proud of her work as a wife and should take great pride in it. Why should the Rabbi's wife take any less pride in her job as Rebbitzen, than a doctor's wife? Sure, a Rebbitzen can have her own identify (I know a Rebbitzen that is a Rebbitzen in every sense of the word that is also an accomplished lawyer), but why chuck another identify.

I know a Chazzan that is a professor. He wears both titles with pride. Why can't a Rebbitzen who is a doctor, lawyer, accountant, teacher, or fulltime homemaker wear both titles with pride?

5:11 PM  

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