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Women are starting to come to shul during the week

women daveningI always feared this day would come, yet somehow I hoped it wouldn’t happen in my lifetime. We all know that a very small amount of women want to violate the shulchan aruch and hilchos tznius to do a mitzvah that pushes them away from God, but there is a growing number of goodhearted ladies who are showing up to shul during the week and it’s creating an unease amongst the daily minyan guy like myself. This very recent fad of women davening with a minyan at any other time except for shabbos musaf is forcing us men to give up their makom kavuah’s which are commonly in the ezras nushim. Many poskim talk about the importance of a makom kavuah and I’m pretty sure that women showing up to shachris and forcing men to leave the women’s section is not making Hashem very happy.

Back in the day if a woman showed up to shul during the week she would have been the mockery of the neighborhood. Her children would have had hard times getting shidduchim, her husbands status would be degraded, and many held that she herself would be subject to harassment from the beis din shel mala.

My weekday makom kavuah happens to reside in a seldom used women’s section. I’ve been in shuls that have to distract daveners from the task at hand just to put up a mechitza for one woman. How rude can someone be? Showing up to a shul without an official weekday ezras nushim and essentially forcing the shul to accommodate someone that isn’t even supposed to be there. You’d think that providing a separate bathroom was enough, but women are so hypersensitive nowadays.

I’m surprised that none of the frum forums have never talked about this sad state of affairs. I for one will leave my makom kavuah, but not without a fight. I always hem and haw and make sure to let them know that I think they are going against Torah Judaism.

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Dr. Natan Ophir February 10, 2014, 9:17 PM

    Add to that their pious frumkeit and swaying and shukling which shows how they daven with real kavannah, and you really are putting off the men who are so used to speed davening… What a shande…Send them back to the kitchen so that they don’t upset the apple cart.

  • Talia bat Pessi February 10, 2014, 9:52 PM

    Separate bathrooms lol

  • Tzipporah February 11, 2014, 1:11 AM

    Heyo, I’m one of those women. If you’re in the ezras nashim you’re in my spot, and you will be treated to my death stare reserved exclusively for men in the ezras nashim. If you hem and haw at me, you will be treated as well to my Look of Royal Distain, and bashings on the internets henceforth. Go find yourself a new makom kavua. If it’s less than 4 amot away it’s considered the same spot anyways.

    On a more serious note, speaking as a woman who usually davens shacharit in a shul, I’ll add that part of my choice of where to daven is considering if there is an already existent women’s section or not. If there isn’t an ezras nashim (or conveniently placed hallway/coatroom/kids’s playroom/etc.), and I’m only in the area for a day or two, I probably won’t attend because it will just be awkward for all involved. Where I live, though, in a shul I would be planning to attend on a regular basis, I would speak to the gabbaim and see if arrangements could be made.
    In my most recent decision of where to daven, which was when I moved to my new apartment that is located close to several shuls, I took into account the fact that one shul’s mechitza consisted of a built-in frame with curtains hung from it that were usually pushed aside during the week, making the whole room into one big ezrat gevarim, whereas the other shul had a full, permanent mechitza. Obviously it would be rather inconvenient for me to take an entire third of the room for myself in the first shul when the men would otherwise be using it, and the way that they mechitza is built, it isn’t moveable so taking less room wasn’t an option. The second shul had a built-in mechitza so the men anyways shouldn’t have been in the ezrat nashim, so I chose to daven there.

    • anon February 11, 2014, 9:30 AM

      you obviously live in riverdale

    • And Sarah Laughed February 11, 2014, 9:32 AM

      I think it speaks volumes about Orthodoxy that, for one thing, Heshy’s piece of satire even needed to be written, and for another thing, that you’d settle for a hallway/coatroom/kid’s playroom.

      The men never even need to consider whether they’re taking up too much of the shul’s space — they just go into the shul and daven. Maybe the Conservatives have it right when they make the main space available to everyone.

      • rabbi crook February 11, 2014, 11:19 AM

        agreed. cave man has got to go

      • anon February 11, 2014, 2:51 PM

        Hey i hate to burst your whole “liberal orthodox feminist” buble.

        BUT SERIOUSLY!!! you dont have a chiuv!!!! why are you so up in arms about this???? you cant change the Torah or our Mesorah.

        • rabbi crook February 11, 2014, 3:18 PM

          A woman not have a chiuv to prayer to G-d and learn his man-made Torah doesn’t sound ridiculously…man-made to you?

        • Chucham February 11, 2014, 3:29 PM

          And therefore what? Woman cannot pray? They should not be accommodated? They should not be given respect? You daven because you have to. A woman does it because she wants to and you think that entitles you to be treated special? Any reasonable person would think just the opposite.

          • Anonymous February 12, 2014, 1:10 AM


          • Hacker February 12, 2014, 8:49 AM

            Correct. ???? ????? ????? ??? ????? ????? ?????

        • Piggy February 12, 2014, 12:22 PM

          more like an ubber liberal orthodox feminist, she refers to”ezrat gevarim”. Seriously?!

      • SDK February 13, 2014, 5:21 PM

        Hey, any man who lost his makom kavuah and any woman who doesn’t want to daaven in a coatroom is very welcome to come to the Conservative shul. But you’d better bring five other Jews with you if you want to have a minyan in time for the last mourner’s kaddish. The problem of not having a stable ezras nashim pales in comparison to the problem of not being able to make a daily minyan … You could write a frum satire piece entitled “Conservative daily minyan has ten people before Barchu”. Not trying to harsh on my compadres, just tellin it like it is.

        • Diplogeek February 14, 2014, 5:34 AM

          Our (Conservative) daily minyan usually starts out with ten people. Occasionally we’ll have to go and draft one or two more (more for evening minyan than for morning, in my experience), but not all that often. I’ve gone a few times to another Conservative synagogue in the area that has morning minyan, and they’ve always got plenty of people- well in excess of the ten they actually need.

          By contrast, it was pretty normal to see the Chabad rabbi at my college standing out on the sidewalk looking for Jewish guys to make minyan for Yom Kippur (or Shabbat) services. And there wasn’t a shortage of people observing Yom Kippur, they were just all either female or over at Hillel. I stopped trying to go to Chabad for Erev Shabbat services, because there would always end up being eight or nine guys and a bunch of women, and we’d all have to hang around waiting for twenty extra minutes while they tried to round up a couple more Y chromosomes.

    • Tzipporah February 13, 2014, 1:12 AM

      @anon, @Piggy [seriously? Piggy??]: I do not live in Riverdale. I live in Israel. “Ezrat gevarim” is what it’s called in Hebrew and therefore my use of it is no indication of anything except that I speak Hebrew.
      I do not identify as a “liberal orthodox feminist”. Orthodox, yes. Liberal, no; feminist, no.

      @Chucham – Let’s clarify: I daven because I have an obligation to, not only because I want to. I go to shul because I want to.
      Repeatedly in halacha we encounter the principle that one who is obligated to do something gets more ‘reward’ for it than one who is not obligated but does it anyways. Why are you surprised about encountering it here?

      @anon – I’m not a mother and don’t have any pressing obligations in the early morning, so even according to the publications Bais Yaakov used to print out, yes, I do have a chiyuv. Ergo, I’m not “changing the Torah or Mesorah”, I’m actually living it.

      @And Sarah Laughed – “conveniently placed” means “directly adjoining”, and if I’m just passing through somewhere for a day or two it’s an acceptable option. I’m not “up in arms” and I don’t get mad at the shuls that don’t have an ezrat nashim during the week (I’m disappointed in them for not making such a provision, but obviously in their communities there isn’t a need). The ones I get mad at are the men in the shuls which do have ezrot nashim who think that davening there is okay and are surprised when they have to move because I want to daven. Like Heshy, apparently.

      • SDK February 13, 2014, 5:35 PM

        Remember, this is satire. Heshy’s “rants” should not be taken as an indication of his actual personal politics. They just reflect various things that people are talking about in the American frum world that he finds either funny or worth making fun of. That doesn’t mean we can’t have any serious conversations here, but you should at least make some attempt to be funny.

        Actually, I think the next article should be “Frum women up in arms over obligation to daaven twice daily … Women from Manchester to Mobile were furious to discover a halachic obligation to daaven both Shacharit and Mincha ….” http://www.bknw.org/uploads/5/9/9/5/5995719/do_women_have_to_daven.pdf

        • Tzipporah February 15, 2014, 11:19 PM

          Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize my feelings and experiences are only legitimate if I attach some sort of sarcastic, barely-funny “joke” to them.

          Yes, of course it’s satire. FRUMSATIRE. The thing is, this post is pretty much straight on in many places. With no exaggeration. In fact, I’ve had much worse than “hemming and hawing.” I’ve had people come straight up to me and say “You don’t belong here”, I’ve had ‘jokes’ made about “girls coming to clean up” after shabbat mincha, I’ve had men look at me and then just keep davening in the ezrat nashim like they expected me to leave instead. My sister was threatened with physical violence and my friend was harassed until she left shul crying. Forgive me if I don’t think it’s a particularly funny topic.

          Since I and most other women (and men) who choose to daven at Orthodox shuls are Orthodox, your suggestion of moving to a Conservative minyan isn’t even under consideration.

  • Andrew February 11, 2014, 6:18 AM

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