Elana Maryles Sztokman


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Rabbi Elyashiv's Legacy of Women's Pain

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

Rabbi Elyashiv's Legacy of Women's Pain
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv is revered by many as a great leader. But for women, his ideas and rulings were often the cause of enormous pain.Read More


Keeping Young Women Hidden — at the Expense of Their Bodies

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

Despite my earlier post, it now appears that Rabbi Yizhak Silberstein did support the idea that a girl whose mother refused to buy her “religious clothes” should cut her legs in order to force the mother’s hand. An apparent recording of the rabbi’s discussion of this topic surfaced on the Internet today, in which he says that girl deserves the “highest praise” for sanctifying God’s name with her absolute dedication to Torah.Read More


Reversing Israel's Chronic Underrepresentation of Women in Politics

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

The City of Modi’in, Israel may yet see 50% female representation on its city council in the next election. Mayor Haim Bibas, speaking recently at an evening dedicated to women in leadership, said that he personally hopes to see women as fully equals in the local party lists in 2013.Read More


Did a Rabbi Permit Self-Mutilation To Promote 'Modesty'?

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

According to the article, written by a young Jerusalem journalist, Ari Galahar, for Yediot Ahranot’s Hebrew news site, Rabbi Yizhak Silberstein was asked to respond to a strange query from a young woman who was accepted to a religious academy despite her family’s non-religiousness. The young woman, struggling with the academy’s strict dress code of long skirts, long sleeves, and covered collarbones because her secular parents were supposedly pressuring her to dress in a more revealing way, asked Silberstein whether she could cut her legs, so that her parents would agree that she must wear a long skirt in order to cover the bruises. The rabbi reportedly responded, “She is permitted to cut herself in order to dress modestly, and thus to escape all sin.” He reportedly added that “the blood from the bruise will redeem all of Israel like the blood of the ritual sacrifices.”Read More


Orthodox Marriage Prep on the Agenda at Kolech Conference

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

The sexual lives of religious women will be a major topic of discussion at a panel at the upcoming conference organized by the religious women’s forum Kolech. Naomi Marmon Grumet, who has conducted research on the intimate lives of religious women, will be examining the differences between Orthodox men and Orthodox women in preparation for marriage.Read More






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