Why Should I Apologize?


As an Orthodox Jewish man speaking only for myself, I would like to ask Elana Maryles Sztokman, “For what should I apologize?” (“My Feminist Struggles With Yom Kippur,” Opinion, Oct. 3).

Ms. Sztokman asserts that Orthodox Jewish women have no voice and are suffering silently behind the mechitza.

While Ms. Sztokman is leveling charges of egotism at Orthodox men, we are quoting Nechama Leibowitz in our parsha speeches, receiving inspiration from Rebbetzin Jungreis, reading the Hamodia newspaper edited by Ruth Lichtenstein, looking up recipes from Susie Fishbein’s cookbook and so much more.

Perhaps Ms. Sztokman sees the inability of women to wear tefillin, blow shofar and lain the parsha as abusive, but plenty of Orthodox women would disagree. They recognize that men and women were not created equal but were tasked with mitzvot specific to their gender.

I am not denying the reality of sexual abuse and agunot within the community, but I do not believe that this is a result of collective male ego. It is more likely the inability of rabbinic leaders to tackle these topics with greater force.

Fresh Meadows