Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Weird halachic ruling of the week

According to the NY Jewish News, women are now permitted to breast-feed in the sanctuaries of Conservative synagogues.
For a variety of reasons, I strongly believe women should be able to be comfortable nursing in public places (eg. planes) if they want to, however, there are limits, and this is one of them. It is both completely inappropriate for women to expose themselves in any way in such a setting, and in any case, people who are in synagogue should be praying, not doing anything else at the same time. Political correctness gone mad.
Other notable quotes in the article:
“The issue hasn’t come up,” said [Orthodox] Rabbi Basil Herring. “In the Orthodox world there would be a general understanding that it would be best for the mother and baby to be following the traditional role of staying home. If she does come to synagogue, it would not be in the pews where she would be breast-feeding.”
It's comments like that that make me want to support women breast-feeding in shul.
Synagogue sanctuaries are hardly immune from social challenges. Some Orthodox congregations recently began banning most alcohol consumption; one Orthodox synagogue on Long Island has prohibited talking during religious services.
Do they mean, one synagogue has succeeded in enforcing this? If so, as a member of several of the noisiest shuls on the planet (both in London and in Toronto), I'd like to know how?

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