Rabbi Rael Blumenthal


#Behaaloscha #תשפא

The South African Jewish community where was I privileged to grow up was overwhelmingly non-observant. Most people drove to shul on Shabbos. It was a large, Orthodox shul with barely a minyan of observant families. In the US, we would have been called Conservative or Reform, but everyone identified as Orthodox.

I have often joked that if a South African Jew would drive to shul on shabbos morning and see that there was no mechitza, they would get back into the car and drive to another shul. And they would have bristled noticeably if told that they were Conservative or Reform.

This orientation might seem ludicrous to a modern American mindset. The hypocrisy is obvious. If you're orthodox, don't drive! And if you drive, why care about a mechitza?