For the sake of tznius – religious modesty – Orthodox women cover their hair, their arms and legs below the shoulders and knees, and, in some cases, their collarbones. In some ultra-Orthodox communities the requirements of modesty even extend to men, who won’t wear shorts or short sleeved shirts in public. And for Orthodox women throughout the world, wigs are a multi-million dollar business, and those who don’t wear wigs often cover their their hair with headscarves instead, which, if not for their style of wrapping, are practically indistinguishable from the hijab worn by Muslim women.
Which is why it’s the height of hypocrisy that on Tuesday, Rabbi Moshe Sebbag, the (Orthodox) rabbi of the Grand Synagogue of Paris, told the JTA that he supports the regulations adopted in 15 French municipalities to ban the burkini. Sebbag insisted that the ban is not a threat to religious freedom but is instead, about “who will rule here next”.
Over the past week, enough ink has been spilled about swimwear in France to make you think it’s fashion week. For a country fixated on the female body, this is not particularly surprising. France has a long history of commodifying, objectifying, and editorializing women’s bodies, almost always for the sake of fashion and (usually impossible) standards of female beauty.
Moshe Sebbag, the rabbi of the Grand Synagogue of Paris, announced this week that he supports the French ban on burkinis, the modest swimwear some Muslim women wear to cover up on the beach.
Within less than six months, Lonah Chemtai Korlima has gone from being embraced by the public as she fought the bureaucracy to obtain Israeli citizenship to facing a storm of criticism over her performance at the Olympics.
(JTA) — In a first for an Orthodox congregation in Israel, a woman has been hired as a spiritual leader at a Jerusalem synagogue.