Fed up women

SANDI Mann writes of her frustration around separate roles and obligations for women and men on the festival of Succot, among other things.

While I cannot comment on priorities in the succah, with reference to the disaffection felt by women during the Simchat Torah celebrations, Sandi's community should take a leaf out of Yeshurun Synagogue's book.

More than 20 years ago Yeshurun's Women in Judaism group, fed up with the spectator sport from the women's section of the shul, took it upon themselves to set up their own women-only Simchat Torah celebrations.

On Simchat Torah morning, the women perform their own Hakafot with the Sefer Torah, make kiddush, where they also honour the woman who has been chosen by the shul to be their eshet chayil (alongside the chatanim), then listen to entertaining speeches by women from the community on a different topic selected each year.

The quality of their presentations never ceases to amaze and the event is attended by up to 60 women each year.

The programme is fully sanctioned by the rabbi and rebbetzen, executive and council and the only complaint from the men is that they wish they could be a part of it.

Sally Halon,

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