On Israel’s version of American Idol, a 30-year-old mother of four became a sensation after revealing that she had stopped singing for 10 years because of religion.
A women’s only open-mic night in Brooklyn provides a creative outlet for women who observe kol isha. But some still find the restrictions creatively shackling.
One year after an Orthodox Jewish girl was suspended from school for singing on Israel’s ‘The Voice,’ a Sicilian nun drew cheers for singing on Italy’s version of the same show.
The Israelites celebrated freedom with a song. So why is Ophir Ben-Shetreet being punished for showing off her God-given talent?
As the Israeli national-religious population continues to lurch rightward, the belief that for an Orthodox man, the sound of a woman’s singing voice is inappropriately erotic and therefore violates Jewish law has gone increasingly mainstream. This lies behind the ongoing dispute over whether IDF soldiers have the right to walk out when women sing in army ceremonies, and whether government ceremonies that include the religious public can legitimately eliminate female singers.
Listen to a woman soldier sing in a military ceremony or face a firing squad? Tough decision, eh?
Women can solve the world’s problems by just being a little quieter. That is the message emerging from the resolution of a little fracas in the Religious Zionist world recently. The conflict revolved around the traditional IDF event memorializing the “Lamed-Heh,” the 35 men from the Haganah convoy who gave their lives to protect Gush Etzion in 1948. Bnei Akiva announced their withdrawal from the event because there are to be women singing in the choir. After some hemming and hawing and a few angry responses even from within the Bnei Akiva constituency — including condemnation of the boycott from Bnei Akiva World head Daniel Goldman, as well as Kibbutz Hadati youth, Kolech, and others —the groups reached a “compromise” in which women would not sing at the event, but would sing after the event (once all of the Bnei Akiva kids have left).
Orthodox filmmaker Robin Garbose is one happy camper right now. She has secured distribution for her first feature film in two mainstream movie theaters in Israel. But while any independent filmmaker would be happy to have her work released in theaters, the victory is especially sweet for Garbose, whose film, “A Light for Greytowers,” is intended for an audience of women only.
There seems no end to the stream of astounding stories out of Israel relating to the official rabbinate there.
For my first post here on The Sisterhood I’m picking up on Debra Nusssbaum Cohen’s invitation to talk about modesty. While Cohen focuses her discussion on modest dress, she got me to thinking about a modesty phenomenon that has little to do with attire: the women-only performance scene that’s been growing in certain Orthodox circles.