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Monday, 2 March 2015

Kick hubby out of bed!

Daf Yomi Kesubos 28

Friday the Rabbi Slept Late was a murder mystery series of novels by Harry Kemelman that appeared in the 1960s and 70s featuring Rabbi David Small and his wife, Miriam.  At one point, the Sisterhood is campaigning for women to be included in the minyan and they reach out to the rebbetzin to get her on board.  Miriam, however, isn’t interested.  Every morning when hubby gets out of bed and goes to shul, she thanks G-d for making her a woman. 
‘And besides,’ she says, ‘you allow women to join the minyan and I guarantee that will be the end of men showing up.’

The prophet Isaiah declares, “Behold, G-d shall make you wander, the wanderings of man.”
Rav taught: The wanderings of a man are worse than the wanderings of a woman.

Women are more spiritually inclined than men.  Men tend to wander away much more easily from their spirituality than women.  That’s why only men need the constant reminder of Heaven provided by a yarmulke.  That’s why men need the thrice-daily discipline of attending minyan.  If they weren’t forced to go, most wouldn’t bother.  Trust me, the most difficult Sundays of the year to score the minyan are Superbowl Sunday and the Grey Cup. 

Women don’t tend to wander away from their spirituality.  That’s why so many non-traditional houses of worship of various faith groups are filled with women and hauntingly absent the men.  Once you create gender homogeneity in the service, the men no longer feel the need to show up.  They are happy to have the women take care of G-d.

For the men out there, stop wandering away from your spirituality.  Admit that you need to be disciplined in your service of G-d and start showing up to minyan like a soldier would show up to morning inspection!  For the women out there, don’t feel bad kicking hubby or your sons out of bed in the morning to get to shul.  You’re keeping them in line.  For you to go to shul is optional, for them it’s a duty.

Gender equality doesn’t mean gender homogeneity.  Men tend to wander away from their spiritual path if not kept in check.  May you merit staying on the path and keeping the men in your life on track!