>Tonight marks the start of the Jewish New Year. According to ads in today's New York Times wishing me a happy new year from Macy's and Bloomingdale's, it is 5769 on the Jewish calendar. That's a long time to survive repeated attempts to eradicate the Jews, if I do say so myself.

In keeping with the holiday theme, the Times ran an article about the overlap of Ramadan and Rosh Hashana this year. It seems that the streets and pathways in Old Jerusalem are more crowded with people studiously ignoring one another than ever. What I like about the article is that there is something in it sure to piss off everyone. (Just check out the comments.) Now that's the holiday spirit!

Actually, the first comment on the article, from esthermiriam in DC, is exactly where I wanted to go with this. She wrote: "And those who control both those holy sites do agree on other thing: that women should be physically separated from men for prayer there..." In the article, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said of the Western Wall, "this wall makes even those with hearts of stone shed a tear." Oh, Rabbi. Let me explain my tears: they are tears of anger, frustration, and humiliation. For my own people not only separate the women and men, but give the women an inferior place at which to pray. We are accorded less than a quarter of the Wall for our reflections. We are given prayer books and other equipment that are inferior to those provided to the men. I'm not even sure we'd be allowed to read from the Torah on our side. When we live according to our standards and interpretations of Judaism, we are physically and verbally assaulted by the thugs (i.e. - the Hasidim) who control the Wall. So, yes, when I think of the wall, I shed many tears.

L'shanah tova, and peace be upon us. Not only between various religions of the world, but between the factions within them. May the universal religious war on women end in 5769.