Latest from JTA news brief:
Jewish leaders joined other religious leaders in pledging to eradicate violence against women.
Wednesday’s declaration received the signatures of 42 leaders of faith groups, including leaders of the Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative streams. It says that sacred texts, traditions and values too often have been misused to perpetuate and condone abuse.
“While recognizing that some batterers have used religious texts and ideas to justify abusing women, we now declare with one voice that that constitutes a misuse of our traditions,” said Rabbi Elliott Dorff, rector of the Conservative movement’s University of Judaism in Los Angeles. “Our traditions bid us to interact with all human beings, especially those near and dear to us, with respect, support and love.”
This month is National Domestic Violence Protection Month.
All I can say is, it’s about time. I’m sure many of us can attest to the silencing of the issue of domestic violence in Jewish communities, and society at large. And if you can’t here’s one: When a woman was shot and killed by her ex-husband in my community growing up, the conversation remained hushed and shrouded by disbelief that this could happen in Jewish community. The synagogue leadership, including the Rabbi to my recollection, made no public statement denouncing this violence.