01 September 2014

Thoughts on She-lo Asani Ishah (ברכת שלא עשני אשה)

Growing up, there were different things in life that I perceived in which I felt grateful that God created me a male and not a female.  The most obvious of these to me was appreciating the ability to urinate wherever (especially outdoors) when I needed to and not needing to sit down.  Moreover, the lines at bathrooms were significantly shorter (or non-existent) for us males, which was nice to be able to take care of one's expulsive business swiftly.  

And, as I grew older, I also did not have to deal with menstruation or carrying a child, let alone giving birth to a child, etc.  I took cognizance of these physical differences and thanked the Lord for not having saddled me with these biological challenges.
As I became an adult, I also noticed social challenges in different societies with being a woman versus being a man, including - but not limited to - the ability to walk (or go jogging) on a street at night and not be so scared of being raped or otherwise assaulted, verbally harassed, etc.

I thank God every day that I do not have to withstand the challenges of being a woman and am doubly thankful that our tradition has a blessing not only for us men to thank our Creator for having done as such, but also that we are able to connect to our Creator in such a way.  
I have never seen this blessing as a way to denigrate women or to express our superiority over them, but simply to acknowledge to God how thankful I am that I don't have to deal with the same challenges as women. 

1 comment:

tesyaa said...

Men don't menstruate but they have disgusting wet dreams. Many women pity men for being unable to experience the joy of childbirth, especially now that the epidural has made many births easier. If society took some of the unneeded stalls from men's bathrooms and put them in the women's room, that would only be common sense. And it is men, who have the challenge of controlling their testosterone-fueled anger and/or sexual urges, who are responsible for women being unable to walk safely at night.