Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Should I be Insulted?

Top of the evening all...

If you have not figured it out, Jennifer and I are in separate places right now.  That means I write more blog entries.  Aren't you lucky?

From time to time, a curious thing takes place at my morning minyan.  It happened on Sunday.  We are a Conservative congregation.  There was a woman there who was clearly Orthodox.  I know why this is so.

At most of the Orthodox congregations in Toronto, the custom is that women do not say mourner's Kaddish.  For those of you who do not know, Kaddish is a prayer that is said during the year of mourning for the deceased, and again every year on the anniversary of the death.  Those who want to say Kaddish will often come to me.  I do not know why they feel the need to leave their own congregations.  There is virtually no Halakhic proscription as to women saying Kaddish.  In any event, they are certainly welcome at the Pride.

Part of me wants to feel cheap and used.  They came for a specific purpose, a purpose that their own congregations will not support.  "If I cannot say Kaddish at my own Orthodox congregation, I will go to the Conservative congregation.  They will let me do anything."

On the other hand, at least for that one service, they are in a place where their pastoral needs are respected.  They are in a place that avoids unnecessary and irrelevant stringencies.  They are in a place where the legal limits of Jewish Law may bend from time to time, but where they never break.

So I have decided not to be insulted.  For that one day, they come to a place that does not see stringency as a goal in and of itself.  I feel respected.

Have a good night.


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