Some 18 months after a group of activists began fighting the exclusion of women from billboards in Jerusalem, the fighters have declared victory.
“The issue of excluding women is a result of growing religious extremism,” said city councilwoman Rachel Azaria of the Yerushalmim faction, who is one of the leaders of the battle against exclusion of women from photos in public. “But we discovered that, as with all religious extremism, it’s a small group that imposes its will on everyone. The moment we stood up and confronted these things, they changed.”
Advertisements on buses in the capital still contain no women, but they also have no men: Under a new agreement signed by the Canaan advertising agency and the Egged bus company, ads in Jerusalem now include no human figures at all.
Jerusalem has always been the capital of religious feminism. It has Orthodox synagogues with egalitarian prayer services and women’s yeshivas that train women to plead cases in rabbinical courts, answer questions of Jewish law or write a Torah.
But not everything is rosy on the capital’s feminist front—especially in the eyes of those who come from outside the city. Lili Pergamenikov, a student at Hebrew University who is from Rishon Letzion, recently set up a student support group for women who feel uncomfortable with Jerusalem’s different public atmosphere.
Even veteran Jerusalemites say they feel uncomfortable in some city neighborhoods, such as the Haredi heartlands of Mea She’arim and Geula, which are plastered with posters warning women, “Don’t pass through our neighborhood in immodest dress.”
-www.haaretz.com, 8 May 2013
The key word is equality. Democracy, the dominant ruler of planet Earth, will insist on equality for all levels of society.
But Jerusalem is different. In this case, it is the religion of the Bible, and the Bible does not provide for equality. That is the simple truth. Nature itself reveals the distinct difference between male and female. We can read of the difference in the first pages of the Bible. According to Genesis 3:6, both the woman and the man ate of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They were equally guilty. Then comes God’s declaration of punishment, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (verse 16). To Adam, God had much more to say, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (verses 17-19).
Interestingly, after God’s pronounced judgment, we read in verse 20, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve.” Now they became two separate entities. Originally, however, they were one, as is evident from chapter 5 verse 2, “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. “
Jerusalem’s battle for equality continues. The hidden reason for equality, we believe, is the unmentioned motive of these campaigns: erase the difference between male and female.
There is, however, a perfect equality, and that can only be found in Jesus our Lord. Here is what we read in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
(For more on this subject, read Signs of the Times, Item 9103.)