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Sisterhood

March 19, 2012 2 comments

I just read the comments in sisterhood by Gavriella Lerner about the recent media attention accorded to Deborah Feldman and Pearlperry Reich. I wasn’t shocked to see Gavriella’s misunderstanding of Deborah Feldman and Pearlperry Reich – after all, these people never had a voice to begin with – they were silenced by the community. And the point of their departure and the shopping-around of their stories in the media is precisely this – countering the wall of silence and reinstating their right to be heard. The question for Gavriella is whether she (Gavriella) is enabling the silencers or assisting these victims of extreme religion to find their voice as would be appropriate for members of a sisterhood. Or is Gavriella perhaps offended that these young ladies didn’t give a chance for her “garden-variety Judaism”?

If any evidence is needed for Gavriella’s total lack of understanding of what these women are up against, let me quote this:

Orthodox life is not for everybody, I get that. I only ask that in return that women like Feldman and Reich respect those of us who find beauty and meaning in our rituals and way of life.

What is the quid pro quo here? In return for what should Feldman and Reich respect those who find beauty and meaning in the instruments used to inflict shame and harm onto its dissenters?  

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