I do not feel as good about Sisterhood Shabbat this year as I did last year.
I had the strongest feeling that we were entering into a world of men, and that we were playing at doing the things that the men do. It was not a good feeling.
Maybe it had to do with the three men - regulars - who arrived first, and who were chatting in the sanctuary with smirks on their faces. I do not think I imagined it. They were smirking, as if to say: these silly women, taking over our service for a day, what will they screw up today?
Judaism belongs to all of us. The Temple belongs to all of us. The bimah, the ark, the Torah. We should feel comfortable taking part, leading, doing an honor. The service is not just the purview of the men, the regulars, the Rabbi. It belongs to all of us.
The rigidity, the need to control, "it has to be done a certain way"...this is really starting to rub me in the wrong way.
I know that control is a big issue of mine. Feeling like others are controlling me. It's always been a big issue of mine, as long as I can remember.
Here's another example. Last night, we were at a program at J's school for the fourth grade. The kids sang some songs in the gym, then everyone moved to the classrooms. They did some things in the classrooms, then we moved back to the gym. There was a lot of: stop, wait, line up, do this, do that, don't do that yet. The whole thing made me very uncomfortable. It was so rigid, it had no spontaneity.
Maybe Judaism is just -- at its core -- about things being done a certain way. It's not particularly spontaneous. It's about order and control. Maybe that's why I feel always feel a bit uncomfortable at temple, with certain Jewish practices. I'm always resisting that control.
Hmm. Why has it taken me so long to figure this out?