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Women Are Vulnerable

03/24/2021 06:03:06 PM

Mar24

Rabbi Weill

Dear Friends,

Today we woke to the horrible news of a shooting in Georgia by a disturbed young man with a legally-owned gun. The victims were primarily Asian, leading many to assume this was a hate crime – a plausible conclusion given the sharp rise of anti-Asian crime in the United States.

What makes this tragic crime even more infuriating is that most of the victims were targeted because they were women.

Meanwhile, news also broke today about a female Southern Illinois University student who was shot to death. She, too, was likely victimized because of her gender.

The sad fact – yes, fact – is that a staggering number of women have been victims of discrimination, sexual predation, or violence at some point in their lives. Some of you have your own stories.

Some commentators make light of the “me too” and “woke” movement, focusing on what seems like excesses. But making light of this just masks an uncomfortable truth that we would prefer to ignore: Women and girls have legitimate cause for concern for how they are treated on the street, in the office, and at home.

Just because previous generations were expected to accept situations that were uncomfortable or worse does not mean that today’s women (yes, our daughters and granddaughters) need to be as accepting.

Jewish tradition demands that we see the world through the eyes of the vulnerable. Women are vulnerable; they face vulnerabilities and dangers men do not. So, men, let us acknowledge that we have a major responsibility here. May we learn to act in ways – and cease acting in ways – that perpetuate the vulnerabilities of our own kin.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill

Tue, August 3 2021 25 Av 5781