[Avodah] partnership minyanim

Lisa Liel lisa at starways.net
Mon Mar 4 10:24:50 PST 2013

On 3/4/2013 9:18 AM, Chana Luntz wrote:
> What I objected to in the piece was that, while the article's target was
> partnership minyanim, the arguments being raised worked equally well to rule
> out a very common Sephardi minhag, that of katanim saying psukei d'zimra.
> And in fact that reality was acknowledged, ie there were various portions of
> the piece which suggested that the author knew that the arguments that were
> being raised to rule out partnership minyanim also ruled out katanim leading
> psukei d'zimra - and in fact discomfort was indicated about davening in
> minyanim where katanim did psukei d'zimra.

And I think this was one of the major problems with your piece.  Just 
because a particular argument, bereft of context, could be used for 
something else does not mean it ever has, or should, or can be once 
context is included.  Your assumption that if the argument is applicable 
to women, it *must* be equally applicable to ketanim is invalid for the 
reason that you haven't established it.  You've merely asserted it.

The fact that the same poskim who permit certain roles for ketanim do 
*not* permit those same roles for women is evidence that they see a 
distinction, and R' Freundel's suggestion that chinuch is the logical one.

To reject that leaves 3 possibilities: (1) That the poskim who permit 
those roles for ketanim *would* permit them as well for women, (2) That 
the poskim who permit those roles for ketanim and do not permit them for 
women make this distinction for extra-halakhic reasons, and (3) That the 
poskim who permit those roles for ketanim and do not permit them for 
women make this distinction for halakhic reasons other than chinuch.

You have agreed that possibility (1) is not the case.  Possibility (3) 
is equivalent in every way that I can see to R' Freundel's chinuch 
explanation.  Which leaves possibility (2).  It seems to me that the 
only logical possibility left to explain your position is that you see 
poskim who make a distinction between the permissibility of these roles 
for ketanim and women as operating outside of the halakha.  And I have 
to object to you accusing those rabbis of making their decisions for 
extra-halakhic reasons.

Now... I don't actually think you are making that accusation.  I'm using 
that to illustrate what you've done.  As you did, I derived a logical 
implication that you were saying X, even though you've never actually 
said X.  And then I attributed that position to you.  Which is unfair, 
and less than honest of me.  But as God is my witness, I can't see how 
it's any different than you saying that R' Freundel is objecting to 
Sephardi minhag.  He has never said any such thing, to the best of my 
knowledge.  You are attributing that position to him based on your 
logical implication.  And that's wrong.  It's the very definition of a 
strawman argument.


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