Feeling Excluded

I read the thousands of words written in the article “Can We All Get Along?” (summer 2012), but the proverbial “thousand words” of the pictures accompanying the article rang louder in my ears. And what they said to me is that the “we” in the title does not include me and many of my friends. It excludes many of the men I daven with at my shul’s Sunday morning minyan; it ignores large numbers of the women I wait on line with at parent-teachers conferences in my children’s yeshivot. No man wearing jeans, polo shirts, running shoes, sports jerseys, baseball hats, T-shirts or sweat pants; no woman in short sleeves or pants, hair or legs uncovered. Whatever one thinks about the acceptability of such attire, I would have hoped that an article ostensibly about Jewish unity in an OU magazine would have included such individuals who are an active part of the Modern Orthodox community. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. And so, while I can see myself in the mirror on the cover telling me that “Jewish unity starts with you,” I cannot answer the question posed in the cover story’s title because it is not being directed to me.

Joseph C. Kaplan
Teaneck, New Jersey

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This article was featured in the Fall 2012 issue of Jewish Action.
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