SAR is the first Modern Orthodox high school in New York to allow girls to put on tefillin and of course it’s created a huge debate on the internet between people who believe it’s a woman’s right to choose and those who believe it’s the man’s right to choose for her. Although there are cases of holy women in the past who have donned tefillin, it has been argued that women these days may be on a higher spiritual level, but it’s obviously not high enough to put on tefillin. Luckily for the pro-choice crowd, halacha doesn’t exactly say that women can’t put on tefillin, it merely says that if men go beyond the letter of the law they are praiseworthy, but that if women take on extra mitzvos – they will become whores.
To be honest, I see how women become loose from taking on mitzvos they are not required to do. If you go to any left wing modern orthodox shul or community, you will notice signs and all sorts of warnings about the serious breaches in tznius. In a real frum community, the women are tzanua because they aren’t constantly exposing their arms and elbows while putting on tefillin.
The problem with allowing women to put on tefillin is that they aren’t doing it for the right reasons anymore. It used to be that women wanted to be like men in their Jewishness, but women have actually embraced the “higher spiritual level” BS that has been drilled into them and the backlash of that is that they need constant maintenance in their Yiddishkeit. For many women, cooking, cleaning, supporting deadbeat kollel husbands, and being incubators isn’t enough to foster their relationship with Hashem. Some women simply need more tangible spiritual connections. Hence, the reason there are frum women who want to learn gemara and put on tefillin, even at the risk of becoming whores due to their feeble mindedness.
In reality we have to look at the pro-choice movement on a macro level. Imagine how many girls would still be frum, if they hadn’t been treated like second class citizens. Regardless of how you personally feel about your personal treatment within frum society, some girls actually want to take on things for personal reasons. Not everything is about the wolf we call feminism. Personally, I wish that more frum girls would have put on tefillin when I was dating, because according to the mesorah that would have made it easier for me to get some action on a shidduch date.
However, we cannot forget the mesorah. We cannot forget that Judaism has survived in it’s authentic form as it was given to us on Sinai because we have followed everything the men have said. Judaism has never evolved and evolution will kill the religion. Will those girls who want to put on tefillin marry Jews? Maybe, but their kids probably won’t, so it’s up to them if they want to continue out time honored mesorah.
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