I came across THIS ARTICLE by Rabbi Avi Shafran, my old 10th grade Rebbe. There is a lot he writes in the public arena that I do not agree with, but this one I really did. I articulated a similar notion in my post in this blog about Maharats HERE. Indeed when our Maharat here at Bais Abraham asked me if she was expected to go to the weekday Schacharit minyan, I told her that of course she could but it was not expected, and perhaps she would like praying at home better and spending the time with her young children or learning.
Men and women have different halachic obligations and as Orthodox Jews we believe that men and women are different. Because the genders bring very different voices and points of view to the table is precisely why we must empower women to be Jewish leaders, to be learned, but we must take care not to push them to be the same as men. This could send observant Judaism down a dangerous path of erasing the distinctions between the genders, much as has happened in some more liberal Jewish movements. Ultimately such a path does not honor women and their leadership, their power, and uniqueness nor does it honor men's, but rather takes something precious away and creates fewer opportunities for both genders to bring their strengths to the community.
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