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12/20/2018 02:17:44 PM


Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

Daddy, why don’t girls go to minyan?”
Some of you may know that I take Zev to morning services with me every Monday and Thursday morning. Needless to say, he’s become quite observant. With the notable exceptions of Arlene Manning and Delores Lazerson, and our admirable once monthly Rosh Chodesh group, minyan at Etz Chaim--despite our long history of egalitarianism--remains a “boy's thing.”
There are so many answers I wanted to give Zev about the way “things used to be.” I wanted to tell him that in my grandparents’ day, daily minyan was primarily for men while women stayed home and took care of the kids. I wanted to tell him that tefillin and tallitot were, and remain in Orthodox circles, firmly male attire.
However, I soon realized that as a rabbi in his 30s that any answer in that regard would be quite disingenuous: simply because I can’t remember a time in my life during which the conservative movement was not egalitarian. It was in 1993 when I saw my first woman, Rabbi Karen Reiss-Medwed (the sister of Esti Kleinman and daughter of Roz Reiss) don tefillin every day at camp; one friend of mine quipped that watching her do this may have in fact been the first time either of us even remember seeing tefillin at all. Amy and I share or alternate morning carpool responsibilities and taking care of our kids. Zev, like me, will never live in an era where girls are not perfectly capable of coming to shul and participating fully in our daily minyan.
I brought Haley to minyan on Tuesday morning. Perhaps, over the next few weeks, some of you will come join us at minyan and also help me prove to Zev that girls do, in fact, “go to minyan.”
Mon, May 20 2019 15 Iyyar 5779