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Blessed are you Lord who has not made me a woman!

The bracha of shelo asani isha is probably one of the only prayers we say on a daily basis that most folks can agree with. Amidst all of those prayers about redemption, incense, fear of the Lord, and sacrifices it’s nice to know that we have some that really make sense. I’ve never wanted to be a woman and most dudes I know feel the same way, child birth, sitting to pee, and mood swings are all reason enough to be glad we were born men, so what if we can’t get multiple orgasms. However, I do sometimes wonder along with the feminists over why they didn’t get left with a better bracha.

It’s gotta suck to be an orthodox feminist, you have to combat with the men who run this religion over everything. You have to fight with the men to get out of the women’s section during weekday davening, fight with them for your daily mikvah rights (because truly God fearing women want to be clean everyday) and you have to fight with the men to sell you a pair of tzitzis or tefillin when it’s obviously not for a man. I guess this is one of the many reasons why you don’t meet too many orthodox feminists, it’s just too tough of a fight to wage. When you meet frum feminists, they tend to be super liberal and not doing it for the right reasons. Although, a great man once told me that if you do it for the wrong reasons (trying to be like men and make a stink) you may come to do it for the right reasons (cleaving to the Lord).

Of course, it’s doubtful that any regular frum folks would ever be dan l’kav z’chus and assume a woman is doing anything they are not chayiv in – for the right reasons. I always wondered about this, because men do things they aren’t chayiv in all the time, yet we don’t make any assumption that they are doing it for the wrong reasons, yet when women go beyond the letter of the law, we always assume the worst.

We have all heard the arguments against women learning anything beyond agadata, putting on tefillin and holding the Torah. Apparently it breaks down the fabric of society and leads us all to sin, it also violates the mesorah we have to keep women down and back in the kitchen. Instead, the frum community is trying to go to the opposite extreme and ban women from all public spheres.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a male dominated religion and I love the bracha shelo asani isha, I just wonder why women got shafted with such a crappy bracha. Being a woman is not all bad, they don’t have to come to shul, buy a lulav or fast on minor fast days. They also get to check out the kiddush without being yelled at by the kiddush bouncers.

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{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Michael K. February 19, 2013, 12:38 PM

    I say “Shelo Asani Isha” because if I were a woman, I’d sit in bed all day and play with my boobs.

    • anonymous February 19, 2013, 1:28 PM

      Where is the “Report this comment as inappropriate” button?

      • Anonymous February 19, 2013, 9:33 PM

        Where’s the “That’s Funny” button?

      • matt February 20, 2013, 2:23 AM

        Heshy reads all of these, and is aware of what he finds offensive.

        Isn’t boob-play the point of the Internet?

        • Heshy Fried February 20, 2013, 10:31 AM

          I thought it was penis play to girls playing with boobs, but yes I admit that I sometimes touch my boobs when I read funny articles on the internet.

          • oneg February 20, 2013, 12:21 PM

            one sick sycopad,
            man loves boobs, woman loves penis.

  • stimmel February 19, 2013, 12:52 PM

    The bracha is not “thank you for not making me a woman” because women are any less important just like the bracha “thank you for not making me a non jew” is not because jews are better than non jews. The blessing is about thanking g-d for creating me as a being who fulfills a certain number of commandments. Men are required to observe more commandments than women (positive time bound) therefore you are thanking g-d for the opportunity to have the greater amount of commandments that you have. Similarly, you thank g-d for not making you a non jew who only has a mere 7 commandments they need to adhere to. So you see it is nothing to do with inherent importance and everything to do with how many laws you are required to observe and appreciating them. PS. I consider myself a feminist woman and i see no issue with this bracha once you take its intent into account.

    • Dan February 19, 2013, 1:08 PM

      I find that unconvincing. Particularly the analogy to the one about non-jews.

    • Michael K. February 19, 2013, 1:09 PM

      Yeah, I gave that explanation to a woman who asked me about it, and added that men have more commandments because they’re not as closer to Hashem as women are, and we men need those commandments to bring us closer to God. She looked at me funny and said “Nice spin, but it’s the men who decided to keep the commandments for themselves. When you (orthodox) stop treating women as second class citizens (via our actions), I’ll believe that women are holier than men”.

    • G*3 February 19, 2013, 1:29 PM

      > The bracha is not “thank you for not making me a woman” because women are any less important just like the bracha “thank you for not making me a non jew” is not because jews are better than non jews.

      And I suppose slaves are also of equal status, right?

      Come on. The frum world absolutely sees Jews as better than non-Jews, just as free men are better than slaves, and men are (traditionally held to be) better than women. The rest is just apologetics. Very old apologetics, but apologetics nonetheless.

      • Dan February 19, 2013, 1:45 PM

        I’ve got no apologies. Men are more important than women. There, I said it. Deal with it.

        We’re also bigger, and stronger. And don’t need you as much as the gals need us.

        • A. Nuran February 19, 2013, 11:39 PM

          Wrong again, frumbag! But what can you expect from someone who thinks having a shmekele and mumbling Bronze Age incantations in dead languages makes him King Turd of Fecal Hill? The whole Universe, all 93 billion light years of it, exists solely for the benefit of him and men like him.

          Women are much more important than men. They do the one absolutely essential thing for which there is no substitute. We could get by with one man or so per hundred women, a lot fewer once egg fusion is ready for prime time. The other way around? No. Not even. No way.

          Men are a little taller and have a touch more upper body strength. So what? A baboon with a purple tochis is even stronger. Women are better at precision work, live longer and can have multiple Big O’s. That more than makes up for opening pickle jars bare handed.

          • Witness February 20, 2013, 1:06 AM

            I always understood that blessing as basically thanking God that men aren’t the ones who give birth.

          • christ February 20, 2013, 2:25 AM

            The world is only 6000 light years.

            Checkmate, atheists.

          • G*3 February 20, 2013, 5:15 AM

            > Women are much more important than men.

            Now you’re going too far in the other direction. Yes, women are more important than men for reproduction, but there’s more to the human experience than perpetuating the species.

            • Just Saying February 22, 2013, 1:23 AM

              Why are women more important than men are for reproduction? You do realize that you can walk around with your eggs in one basket all day, but if there’s no sperm, there’s no baby, right?

          • Heshy Fried February 20, 2013, 10:32 AM

            Frumbag is not as good as douche canoe

        • SJ February 20, 2013, 8:14 AM

          I don’t think Nuran can open a pickle jar barehanded. lol

    • Just Saying February 22, 2013, 1:22 AM

      This doesn’t make sense to me, because of the language used. If you are thankful to be a man because of the extra mitzvos, then why isn’t the bracha “Thank you for making me a man,” not, “thank you for not making me a woman?” There is a big difference.

    • Rise Of Slimer March 3, 2013, 10:44 PM

      No one really buys that, except for some eager BTs.

  • Dan February 19, 2013, 1:00 PM

    Plus, if all the orthodox feminists would just go OTD, it would even help the shidduch crisis.

  • G*3 February 19, 2013, 1:26 PM

    > Of course, it’s doubtful that any regular frum folks would ever be dan l’kav z’chus and assume a woman is doing anything they are not chayiv in – for the right reasons.

    It has nothing to do with women doing things they’re not chayiv in. No objects to women sitting in the succah, and every shul has a second shofar blowing for women who couldn’t make it to davening. It’s women doing things that are traditionally male. In other words, it’s about social norms.

    People protested when women wanted to vote, too.

    • Anonymous February 19, 2013, 4:54 PM

      women vote?

  • port yid February 19, 2013, 3:13 PM

    if men had children we’d have a lower birth rate…we are all equal in g-d’s eyes… its so great to be a guy?? one word for ya… Bris…..

    • Witness February 20, 2013, 1:07 AM

      Do you remember yours?

  • Shimon doesn't rhyme with Cinnamon February 19, 2013, 4:24 PM

    Heshy, you gotta do a piece on kiddush bouncers!

    • Anonymous February 19, 2013, 4:55 PM

      you have to start looking at the archives, anything that you can think of, Heshy has probably thought of already

  • Dan February 19, 2013, 4:54 PM

    The truth is, that frum women are just as sexist as frum men are, if you will. I think it more likely that the whole “women don’t need mitzvos because they are holier” was made up by frum women.

    I been reading inshidduchim dot com, that frum girls dating website, and lemme tell you, there is some serious female chauvinism going on.

  • Anonymous February 19, 2013, 9:36 PM

    Every year, I get an email from our local MO list “Megilla reading for Women”. I wonder what would happen if I send an email “Megilla reading for Men”…

  • Marion Bloch February 20, 2013, 8:08 AM

    Most PEOPLE? The last time I remembered, women are people too. I know no woman who likes this–even those who accept it.

  • Amanda February 20, 2013, 10:28 AM

    Vibes…What’s wrong with you, son of a bitch..why do you call yourself jewish and religious and still use such filthy disgusting sexually explicit language..does your god love this? Is it written in the torah that it’s okay to use such dirty language…who ae you to criticize women and still say ‘hot’ things about boobs and bras and etc..,you retarded bastard….? Are all of you jews like this.?..oh I thought jews were clean people.. What a mistake you perverted dumb jerk…enjoy your life with your whorish ugly disgusting wife….and maybe post a porn video of her disgusting fat ass, you scum.

    • Michael K. February 21, 2013, 7:44 AM

      You seem nice.

      • Dan February 21, 2013, 8:13 AM


    • bratschegirl February 21, 2013, 10:30 AM

      “Vibes” = “Yikes,” maybe? Serious candidate for best auto-correct ever, if so.

  • Anonymous February 20, 2013, 7:51 PM

    Whoa there Amanda, who are we if we can’t make fun of our own human instincts? I guess your religion encourages you to suppress and/or ignore all of your human instincts. Let us practice as we see fit and don’t read the blog if your offended.
    About the bracha… as a mo woman I am offended by this bracha, and do not always say it. Didn’t G-d make men according to his will also? On the other hand I understand that it is a product of its time. I don’t know exactly when it was written, but I know it was during a time when “equal but different” was not even a thought in anyone’s mind. I can accept that the writers wanted to give us womenfolk a bracha, but had no idea what we would want to be thankful for that would relate to our womanhood.

    • Dan February 20, 2013, 9:26 PM

      You’re not MO.

  • bruceleh February 21, 2013, 4:44 PM

    Don’t forget about some Lubavitch women say “sh’lo asani isha” because that’s the way the Alter Rebbe wrote it in the siddur.

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