This story is both very upsetting and very interesting to me.

As most of you know, I'm Jewish. My mother's side of the family hails from Austria, Belarus and Russia. We are most certainly not religious (neither I nor my sister had a Bat Mitzvah) but my great-grandma actually came from an Orthodox family. She took some traditions with her but she heavily disagreed with a lot of it, mostly the treatment of women.

Judaism is weird when it comes to women. There is, obviously, a lot of sexism in this religion. As the article states, a woman requires a "get" to become fully divorced while a man does not. Single women must keep their knees, elbows and collarbones covered while married women must do the same + covering their hair with wigs (this is specific to the very religious). Women cannot touch men who are not their family members or husbands (not even a handshake). Yet at the same time, there is an...odd respect when it comes to Jewish women. It's difficult to put into words and it's only really noticeable when you spend enough times around Jews, but it is there in some way.

So, the article. To give a simpler explanation, as with many weddings, there is a religious ceremony and a secular one. Religious = well, religious. Secular = marriage license provided by the state. It's pretty easy to get a secular divorce, but a Jewish divorce is not that simple (as you can see). For reference, my mother had a Jewish wedding (to my stepfather). They agreed to a legal separation as opposed to a full divorce (mostly for health insurance purposes, long story) but if they were to decide to get divorced by the state, it'd be easy. However, under Jewish law they're still technically married. So even though neither of them are religious, neither can have another Jewish ceremony for as long as they're married under Jewish law. For what it's worth, I'm not sure if this carries over to any other religions as I'm really only knowledgeable about Judaism.

But as you can see, as explained in the article, the way the husband is acting is not common nor acceptable by the community. He's receiving a lot of backlash for his refusal to sign the "get." So if this tradition causes so many problems by its sheer existence, why is it still a tradition?

I also find the courtship within the community interesting. Specifically, how fast paced it is. I understand that there are plenty of couples around the world who move very quickly, and that is not something I have judgement on. It's one thing for things to just flow naturally for two people, it's another for it to be expected and forced upon two young people. Anyone have any thoughts on this that they'd like to share?

Advertisement

So really, I just want to hear everyone's thoughts in general. The Jewish community interests me in many ways, and my family and I have our own issues with the Orthodox that we've dealt with for many years*. As someone who is...sort of part of this community, I guess, it intrigues me.

*When my great-grandfather passed away before I was born, a specific Rabbi refused to perform the service for him because my family "wasn't Jewish enough." This has just been a recurring theme with the Orthodox and my family for quite some time, that they do not consider us Jewish. Whether it's because we don't keep Kosher or because the women wear pants, I have no idea. But we've butt heads with Rabbis and members of the Orthodox community several times due to this ideology.