Not too long ago, a dear friend told me more about about her Jewish faith and her woman's group called "Kol Isha."
"Patricia, our women’s group at our temple is called Kol Isha … which relates Kol Isha back to all of the divisions in Judaism between men and women … specifically referencing a tradition of men not being allowed to hear women sing … for fear that it would arouse them … this is an orthodox prohibition … because orthodox men and women are not allowed to be intimate unless they are married."
Here is the mission statement for Jill's group:
“Kol Isha is a community of women within our Congregation Beth Israel community which provides an opportunity to meaningfully share our Jewish lives through study, friendship and tikkun olam -- repair of the world. Kol Isha is a term which comes from the Talmud and means "the voice of women." Throughout Jewish history, women's voices were seen as seductive and distracting to men and were, therefore, silenced. This name was chosen as the name for our women's group highlighting empowerment and recognition of the unique contribution women make to our community.”
"Kol Isha, Tikkun Olam" is exactly what is going on around the world TODAY - women's voices are rising and they are finally being heard. The Atlantic magazine recently wrote an article entitled "The End of Men," which our correspondent Moira Lion will be commenting on in her blog series. The core essence of this article is about the balance of power shifting, women coming into their own and men not knowing what to do.
Of course, this is a simplification of the article, which is quite lengthy. HELLO WORLD - this has been a long time coming! Women helping women, finding their voices and using them in a positive way ... a way that complements the nature of women: nurturing, communicative, creative, compassionate and yes, collaborative. Men posses these traits as well, we all do, yet the patriarchal society has yet to truly capitalize on them. Why not use their power-based energy to
end war, poverty and violence of all kinds? Why not use this energy to educate, mentor and re-build ...
I leave you with my image of "Kol Isha," first in a series of my Wings Words - cultural messages from around the world that tell the story of woman.
Please take the time to read Moira's blog on "The End of Men." I know you will find her take on things interesting, for she is one of our voices of the future.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Patricia Varga, A Woman with Wings