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Women Praying Next To Men - A Step Away From Holiness

Reader comment on item: Islam's Future [Can Be Modern]

Submitted by Michoel Zeldis (United States), Aug 13, 2002 at 20:54

Mr. Pipes wrote: "One recent example: In May, the Turkish religious authorities ruled - completely contrary to Islamic custom - to permit women to pray next to men "

Prayer: According To Webster: "An entreaty or supplication to G-d". In Orthodox Judaism men and women also do not pray together as in orthodox Islam. Now I don't know why Muslim men and women don't pray together, but I can for sure tell you why Orthodox Jewish men and women don't pray together. They are separated either by a wall, or sometimes women pray upstairs and men pray below in the same theater room.

They don't pray together because Chazal (Jewish Religious authorities going back to the time of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem) were smart enough to know that when a man is next to a women he can not give his "undivided" attention to the Master of the Universe during prayer. Chazal knew the nature of man and how easily his mind can wander when next to a women. Not that a man has to do anything physically because his mind wanders.

But that is exactly the point. That it is not enough that a man behave physically properly during prayer; but when praying to the Master of the Universe his mind must, sort of speak, also behave properly and be completely focused on what he is doing. After all, for those that believe that there is a G-d who created everything and is responsible for all we have, it certainly is proper behavior to give him your undivided attention when praying to him. (To parphrase King Solomon: "Everything has its proper season/time")

Turkey has taken a step backward away from G-d by lowering the holiness of prayer in their country.
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