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Wednesday, April 06, 2022 

Judaism shouldn't be pushing the idea women shouldn't attend synagogue in trousers

And here's one woman who went locally to synagogue wearing trousers, an immigrant from the UK, and it was quite okay with everybody in the Israeli synagogue:
This morning, I went to shul in trousers, something I’d never have done in Manchester.

Although I’m not a religious or observant person, I always felt that it was incumbent upon me to adhere to the rules, traditions and Halacha when going to shul. As I’m clueless when it comes to which is which (rules, traditions and Halacha), I’d always err on the side of caution and wear a skirt and cover my head, naturally. I’d also steer clear of short sleeves, following a rather uncomfortable incident during kiddush one week when the rabbi whispered under my hat and directly into my ear that I should make sure my elbows are covered in future. The fact that he was so close to my face that I could feel his breath on my cheek as he spoke to me didn’t seem to bother him. However, it did me, and I barely set foot in the place after that.

Truth be told, ever since I was a child, I’ve been a little wary of rabbis. They always seemed so much older than me (although nowadays, everyone, including rabbis, appears to be much younger). I had a general feeling of inadequacy when I was around one, probably due to my lack of faith and observance.

In short, I felt like I was being judged.
If this is pertinent to the UK, I get the feeling they may really make the mistakes there of making it look like Judaism imposes questionable dress codes upon women, even though in remote biblical eras, men didn't wear trousers any more than women did. Which is no way to inspire confidence in anybody, inside or outside of the Judaist religion, that it's worth upholding. If this was an Orthodox rabbi she's talking about, he really did a disfavor for the sect. It's God who should judge, not the rabbi, when it comes to how women and men dress at a synagogue.

Now here's where she tells of another rabbi from the UK who approved of her wearing pants over here in Israel:
During a recent meeting with them, they told me about the relaxed and informal nature of the shul. They insisted that I’d feel comfortable there and invited me to come along on shabbos to see for myself.

I could even wear trousers and leave my head uncovered if I wanted to, they said, what’s important is that you will be welcome, whatever you wear.
The rabbi who approved was right. There are some Judaists who're fine with women wearing pants, so long as they're feminine designed, and that's what should really be advocated when it comes to how one should dress. There definitely shouldn't be a dress code for women, as one religiously observant woman once told me, and she made clear a true rabbi doesn't impose dress codes like the ultra-Orthodox do.

So I think the time's come that Orthodox Judaist figures stop making such a fuss over how a woman dresses, so long as it emphasizes her femininity. That can make things a lot better for many women, and make them more confident and encouraged to practice Orthodox Judaism on a serious basis.

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