Sunday, August 21, 2011

Morning Blessings For Orthodox Men

Luke Ford writes: I’ve been asking Orthodox rabbis about Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky’s two blog posts (here and here) announcing why he did not say the traditional morning blessing thanking God for not making him a woman.

A friend tells me: “Fact is, that blessing has been in dispute from the beginning, and many important poskim, and whole communities, say “sheasani yisrael” (for making me a Jew).

“Also, the gemora has another potential blessing, “shelo asani am haaretz” (for not making me ignorant) and that was unpopular and disappeared from the texts.”

One rabbi said to me: “The sad thing is the shul won’t fire him. What about the blessing thanking God for not making him a Gentile (she loasani goy) – how can the rabbi be racist?”

“He should really get rid of mussaf as well – the treatment of animals in biblical doctrine does not stand up to the “smell test” of modern sensibilities.

“In fact he should not allow the reading of Parshat Zachor for it is racist, or any place in the Torah which speaks of Israel’s choseness or specialness – these are primitive ancient perspectives. He should edit the Torah, teachings and ritual to confirm to modern sensibilities – of course none of this should be done in an orthodox shul – which is why he should be fired."

I discuss the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Rabbs Mondays at 7:00 pm PST on my live cam and on YouTube. Facebook Fan Page.

This week we study Parashat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25).

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