I read the list for the next week, and didn't see my post. Then one day I got an email from the moderator. Thank you for your interest! he wrote. Great to have you join us. Oh, by the way--are you a woman?
Ah. Clearly the question was posed for reasons beyond the need to clarify my obviously female name. Yes, I answered, I am. Why do you ask?
Well, he replied, women do not chant in traditional Judaism, as I'm sure you know. A few do post on this list, mainly about matters of grammar. You're welcome to participate on that basis, if you'd like. Or check out some of these links (about Jewish cooking, being a Jewish wife, etc.)
My first impulse, having steered clear of Orthodoxy for over two decades before rediscovering Judaism as a completely inclusive religion, was to reply with a vitriolic screed against his Neanderthal-like closed-mindedness. Then I took a deep breath, and acknowledged that he was just explaining the guidelines, clearly and politely, to his world, which he had every right to inhabit. I wrote back and said I hadn't known this was a "traditional" discussion and could not, in good faith, participate on a limited basis. Needing to vent some snarkiness, as well, I asked him if he knew of any egalitarian lists about chanting.
Ha ha ha! he replied. That's very funny. Good luck to you.
(To be continued.)
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