I was riveted by the recent story of an Orthodox Israeli young woman, Ophir Ben-Shetreet, who sang beautifully on the Israeli talent-search program, “The Voice,” and as a result was suspended from her Orthodox school for two weeks because of the prohibition against women singing in public if men are present. Ophir’s performance and evident charm inspired people around the country. The judges praised her as “modest” and “pure,” and she could serve as a role model for young Orthodox women who feel the desire to express themselves and develop their talents. Instead, she was condemned.
Founder of Tel Aviv's secular yeshiva, also a Knesset member, leads Israel's parliament in study and prayer.
Editor’s Note: Ruth Calderon, founder of a secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv, spent several years living in New York recently, teaching at the JCC in Manhattan and other venues. This was her inaugural speech in the Knesset this week as a member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
Two months of bloody war have ended in a fragile remission, and it is hard to say what it was all for. It took 50 days of fighting that killed 73 Israelis and over 2,000 Palestinians --including hundreds of children -- just to go back to the starting point with no real change in Gaza. And so, even as life begins to return to normal, we have no illusions that this quiet will hold for long. The next war is just a question of (short) time.
‘A yarmulke is an indoor garment.” Ask any male Ramaz graduate from the 1940s through the mid-’60s and he will recognize that declaration as one with which we — and others of our age — grew up. We didn’t wear kipot outside. We wore hats or no head covering. Essentially, we didn’t identify as Jews in the street, a street that was not entirely welcoming to us. It was a time of overt or covert anti-Semitism, and we were acculturated to be aware of it and respond accordingly.
The High Holiday Season is upon us, which means that High Fundraising Season is upon us as well. The value of tzedakah (charity) is a central one among Jews of all denominations. In Devarim 26:12, the Torah famously mandates Jews to donate 10 percent of their crops to the poor. And later sources suggest 10 percent as the baseline, encouraging as much as 20 percent of one’s income as an ideal allocation of one’s philanthropic dollars.
Shanah Tova! Happy New Year! Who says so? The summer saw three Jewish kids and one Palestinian brutally murdered, followed by a war — one ended by a cease-fire that Hamas leaders are already threatening to end by Sept. 25 if they don’t get the results they want.
“A yarmulke is an indoor garment.” Ask any male Ramaz graduate from the 1940’s through the mid-‘60’s and he will recognize that declaration as one with which we – and others of our age – grew up. We didn’t wear kipot outside. We wore hats or no head covering. Essentially, we didn’t identify as Jews in the street, a street that was not entirely welcoming to us. It was a time of overt or covert anti-Semitism and we were acculturated to be aware of it and respond accordingly.