This issue is either due to a profound ignorance of the archetypal nature of scriptural texts, or conversely, a humeanesque obsession with jettisoning
any explanation that doesn't fit the modern fad of empiricism as the be all end all standard of truth.
First, let me say this: The Bible should NOT be understood literally. In some sections, there is an argument for literal interpretation, but in
others, it defies all sensibility - not to mention a gross ignorance of how holy texts are generally interpreted (look to India for an example of how
it works) - to insist on a literalist interpretation when that interpretation on the face misrepresents the archetypal-metaphysical basis for the
concept ensconced in the allegorical theme.
Here's my beef: First, the claim that woman often make - particularly those of the Jewish ethnicity - of why they aren't allowed to partake in the
gamut of Rabbinic laws; for instance, why can't women don phylacteries? (tefillin, in Hebrew), or why can't women become Rabbis? or sing in front of
men? And there are many others like this. The typical response given by the Orthodox-Traditional establishment is (as if ignorant of the theological
underpinnings of their own religion) "It's because women are superior to men that they are exempted from these duties" - this obviously does not
suffice in convincing any intelligent woman who WANTS and DESIRES the same connection men enjoy (and they clearly enjoy it); thus, these practices,
tefillin, the many more commandments applicable to men than women, all this is a 'punishment' for man. A punishment which nevertheless put's man in
the position of decider.
Another, less satisfactory, though easier to tolerate (inasmuch as it doesn't make an effort to convince people logically) explanation is: Because God
said so. In other words, Follow God and don't question His authority.
NEITHER of these pathetically puerile explanations touch on the real reasoning for why women are prohibited from wearing phylacteries or serving as a
Rabbi or cantor - or, for that matter, singing in front of men, going out doors uncouth, etc.
The God of the Bible is a God of creation; He is a God which is fastidiously concerned with creation, unlike in Hinduism or other pre-Hebraic
religions, where God is understood more in a pantheistic, or animistic way, and the morality prescribed is usually of an entirely utilitarian nature
i.e. do not murder, steal, lie etc.
The God of the Bible, conversely, concerns himself with things which seemingly have no practical value; why cant a woman serve in a position of
government (an issue redressed by Mill in his 'the subjection of women)? Or why can't a woman serve as a priest? If one analyses the dynamic of these
and other similar laws, one will encounter a trend and tendency of the Bible to always place the man in a position of authority, or activity, and
woman into a position of servitude, passivity and negation. In any schematic, the man is always the principle, the cause, and the animator, while the
woman is the the perennial manifestation, effect and substance.
Thus, within creation itself, as opposed to outside it (a deus otiose, God seen from the Hindu, Christian or even Islamic perspective, the latter
differing from the first two in that Allah is not found in his creation; creation is utterly obviated before the absoluteness of Allah, thus, unlike
in the Hebraic conception, where man is made in Gods image i.e. God is found in creation, Allah is not; He is the Absolute void (or Ka'aba) in the
midst of a barren desert i.e. creation) the God of creation has established an interplay between polarized energies; the masculine, and the feminine.
This interplay is the archetypal background behind the world we experience with our finite senses: the skies - as the masculine, which 'encompasses'
and feeds the world with its fructifying rain, exhibits the masculine principle as the active agent, while the physical world, the primordial
substance worked upon, is the feminine and passive principle.
In every practical process in life, in nature, this dynamism inheres; in mans inner faculties, the masculine can be discerned as the power to reason -
the rational function - whereas the emotions as the power to be worked upon - the vital principle.
With regard to my earlier question, why can't women wear phylacteries, the proper and correct explanation would be: woman more readily experience the
type of connection artificially created by the phylacteries (which means 'amulet', the phylacteries press up against a certain part of the head which
according to an acupuncture magazine article, facilitates ecstatic states of mind), this is so because woman, as "helpers" (as Eve) already possess
the spiritual prowess (or energy, intuition, the ability to know without the aid of reason) to achieve that connection. Therefore, man, who is more
abstract oriented in his constitution, requires phylacteries, while women do not need it. If a woman feels she has difficulty making that connection,
then perhaps an argument could be made for her to make use of phylacteries for the same purposes man uses it. But if a woman seeks to use phylacteries
for not other reason than a truculence and odium against a practice she perceives to be discriminatory, such a woman should first endeavor to
understand the REAL
reason for this practice. After that, after her obviously erratic mental function has been calmed, can she perhaps evoke
the state produced by the phylacteries without which men would have trouble experiencing.
The God of the creation desires that man imitate the same archetypal dynamic in his human affairs; in the governing of society in all its
Now, I think a demarcation should be made between the purely spiritual and the secular in regards to what befits man and woman. As a leader of a
spiritual community, the Rabbi is to be a man; a man because just as God, the creator, is deemed to be the proper actor, and man, the receiver, so to
should a symbolic ceremony be led by the same principle - a man. This principle deserves to be emphasized more in sacred affairs than in the mundane.
For instance, I believe a woman could be just as competent a CEO as a man could be, if she possesses the requisite skills, or as a politician. The
reason why in general Men grossly outnumber woman in all these spheres of influence in obvious: men have more time to devote to these affairs, whereas
women as a whole divide their time between matriarchal duties (tending to family, children) and an occupation. For woman to truly be as able as man,
they would in short, have to BECOME man; they would have to completely dispense with being a mother to her children, and embrace Aldous Huxleys
dystopian vision of a social order without gender roles. A world order being pursued with a vengeance by feminists and communists alike.
So, in summation, the Bible exhorts us to understand the purpose and higher wisdom of the interplay between masculine and feminine energies; to be a
woman does not equal to be subjugated; it does not mean men should treat women as Islamic law sometimes prescribes. To be a woman, in its truest
sense, is to tend to that aspect of creation which man cannot properly do on his own.
edit on 16-3-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason