mea shearim - Tomer Appelbaum - October 28 2011
The gender barrier in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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God loves mirth - that's a fact. Otherwise he would not have created the ultra-Orthodox, on the one hand, and gender, on the other, and ordered them to brawl with each other, in particular during the Sukkot holiday, when in fact we were supposed to rejoice more than on ordinary days.

Another proof that God is fun-loving is that outwardly he plays it serious, as it were, but it's clear to anyone with an ounce of sense that he has done everything possible to play tricks on those he created in his image. To that end the Almighty assembled one part of the nation at the foot of Mount Sinai and gave them gender theory, and then he assembled another part of the nation, this time giving them neither gender nor shmender, but rather the following directive: Everything gender does, you do the opposite. Is that clear?

And all the people cried out: Yes, Sir!

And thus was born the war that has been raging ever since then between the devout believers in gender theory, on the one hand, and on the other, the devout believers in the anti-gender Torah (i.e., the ultra-Orthodox ).

When the gender-theory devout decided to hold a gay pride parade in Jerusalem, for example, the anti-gender devout perpetrated pogroms aimed at frightening the gender-devout and expelling them - or at least weakening their influence. With time, God taught both camps methods for dealing with each other. One of them is to call out to the members of the other camp: "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty," and then, when they gradually creep closer on little feline feet, to bop them on the head with a frying pan. The anti-gender, Torah devout - that is, the ultra-Orthodox - learned (with God's help, as noted ) that their foes lose their marbles completely and their eyes pop out of their heads with rage when the red rag of gender separation is waved before their eyes. For example: When they decree that women will be permitted to sit only at the back of the bus while the more prestigious front of the bus will be reserved for men only.

Let us think for a moment: For 2,000 years of diaspora, and another few decades of statehood, no one imagined this stringency until gender theory was born. And because it was born, it obligated the ultra-Orthodox to wave a red rag at it to infuriate the gender-devout.

"As God is our witness, we didn't intend to humiliate our women to this extent," say the ultra-Orthodox to themselves, "but anything is kosher in order to annoy gender."

And now, since, as noted, there is the commandment handed down directly by God to Moses on Sinai, "Thou shalt rejoice in thy festival," the ultra-Orthodox have invented the following game: They set up barriers along the main streets of their neighborhood and post ushers on their behalf to direct the traffic - women there and men here. And all this aimed at just one thing: to hiss "Here kitty, kitty, kitty" to the gender-theory devout.

And gender showed up, automatically attracted by the scent of blood. And things got very jolly, precisely as the Torah commands. The genderists demonstrated against the barriers and the ultras spat at them, tfoo, tfoo, tfoo, and the police intervened. All this on the holiday of Sukkot.

This year, there was redoubled mirth. The Children of Gender sought the help of the Zionistic court, tfoo, tfoo, tfoo. And the court was on their side, predictably - feh, feh, feh! The ultra-Orthodox sought the help of none other than God himself, in person. And who won again? God and the ultra-Orthodox, of course. Because the moment the genderists applied to the court to prohibit the construction of barriers between men and women in the streets - the exact opposite of what they had hoped for happened.

What was born on Sukkot last year as an annoying prank has already become, under the auspices of the official opposition to it, a serious principle that henceforth the anti-gender ultra-Orthodox will fight to defend with the last drop of their blood.

And in the midst of all this mirth, no one has asked what, in fact, the women want. Those selfsame women who are pushed into the women's section of the synagogue and are pushed to the back of the bus and are forced to walk in the lane designated for women only. What do they want? To remain the way they are, obedient wives and mothers, or to join the gender camp?

As things look on the ground, it appears the ultra-Orthodox women have no problem with these segregation arrangements. Presumably they do not believe they are being oppressed, and in any case, a certain difficulty arises here, which will be explained below.

1. Gender theory, by its very nature, commands that it is necessary to relate to women as human beings equal to men, with respect to their personal desires, and that it's forbidden to force on them things they don't want; any such compulsion is considered oppressive, imperialist, colonialist and a grave transgression of the theories of the saintly Edward Said and Michel Foucault, both of blessed memory.

2. This being so, what is more oppressive: that ultra-Orthodox women accept their men's ordinance and walk like obedient sheep in a lane for women only to annoy the gender camp - or that these same ultra-Orthodox women convert and accept the yoke of gender and walk like obedient sheep in the lane that requires them to mix with the men, heaven forbid?

"Quiet!" roars God angrily. "Within one minute, I want everyone lined up in threes. Anyone who has a note from gender runs around the base three times with his kitbag."