Tag Archives: Israel

A brief note on gender and bombs in Israel…

Now that “ground operations” are under way, just hours before a suggested “ceasefire on humanitarian grounds”, here is an absolutely absurd story about gender segregation in bomb shelters, and it’s not the first such story circulating these days. And not to forget the many who do not have shelters in which to seek cover, or who are refused entry because they live on the wrong side of the tracks.

In Ashdod, where more than one bomb has landed lately, the Rabbinical courts reportedly marked the doors of their bomb shelter with a sign: “For men only.” The women’s secure area appeared far less enforced, it seems. This has since been addressed but seriously?! See here for more… 

The bottom sign reads “Shelter for men” (from the article linked above, photo is courtesy Stav Shaffir/Facebook).

As we know from so many other wars, fighting and bombs do not stop people’s lives. People go to work, children go to school (ok, it’s the summer break but you get my drift), groceries need to be bought, people celebrate weddings, births, and funerals, and go to bars and cafés.

Having read this story about gender-segregated shelters, I remembered a touching article I had read earlier in the week, by Osnat Sharon, an attorney and rabbinical advocate who helps Jewish women navigate the labyrinth that is the Israeli legal system. She tells the story of a woman who finally had her day in rabbinical court, trying to obtain a get, a religious divorce. In her own words, and quoted from the Times of Israel:

When it was finally time for R’s hearing, she went in with her head held high – finally, this was going to be her day! Then, just as the rabbis were questioning the couple to ensure that they were both agreeing to the divorce willingly, the missile warning alarm sounded yet again. R stared at the rabbis, unwilling to move; she had waited too long for freedom to have it postponed. She continued to stare at the rabbis. The rabbis remained in their seats. In fact, we all remained in our seats – even as we heard the other rooms emptying out and people scurrying to the bomb shelter. The rabbis continued with the proceedings even as the alarm continued, even as loud “booms” were heard as the missiles landed in an open field right outside of town. But R didn’t hear any of those things. All she heard were the rabbis’ words:  your divorce is final. You are free.[http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/through-fire-and-flames/#ixzz37lXJTJdv]


If Peace Never Comes, This Will Be the Reason

If Peace Never Comes, This Will Be the Reason

An excellent article about competing national narratives, and a good reminder of  just how complex communal and individual identities are.