Rachel Silverstein found the Torah stifling. She’d been born and raised in Crown Heights, the home of the followers of the Rebbe in Brooklyn, and when she was twenty, she took a sabbatical to study in Israel.
“But Rabbi, our traditions and practices are so primitive. I don’t understand why a woman can’t be a Rabbi, or daven wearing tefillin and a tallit. Didn’t Hashem create us all, men and woman in His image?
Rachel and Rabbi Bergman were walking together in the Jewish quarter of the Old City on a pleasant spring afternoon on a Thursday discussing her struggles with being an observant Jew.
“I fear you left home to pursue a secular education too soon.”
“There’s nothing wrong with wanted to broaden your horizons. Most of the Haradi here study Talmud to the exclusion of even basic mathematics.”