Sunday, October 22, 2006
Men in the women section
Something that has always bothered me is when men sit in the women's section when they go to shul during the week. Why is this? This started to bother me more when I saw this topic in Mishna Berurah which states that one cannot not do this because it gives the appearance that one is starting a breakaway minyan from the main minyan. In small shuls if there are set times for davening and the minyanim overlap I can understand where there can be a leniency but if there is only one minyan and there is plenty of room, why does a person still find the need to sit in the womens section? What if there is a woman who wants to go to this minyan and there is a man in her section? Do you think a woman would feel comfortable asking him to leave? I don't think so. Although I am not an advocate for feminism in Judaism, I do believe that woman should go to shul if they can. If there are men in there section I don't know if they would feel comfortable. The next question on this topic is how come many shuls do not have room for women to come during the week. I don't think that this is right. Just like in America you have to be an Equal opportunity Employer the OU and Agudah and all the other magor groups that have affiliate synagogues should have Equal Opportunity DAvening allowing women to come to shul if they want. One of the old shuls I used to daven at before I got married, rearranged the minyan room when they hired a new Rav to allow women to come if they wanted. For 30 + years this didn't exist. I hope shuls will take my suggestion and men should stop davening in the womens section.