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.
Rabbi Richman is devoting his efforts towards the Temple Mount and a possible Third Temple (“Mounting A Challenge To The Status Quo,” April 11). I would like to remind all of us what the result was of the First Temple. For seven years, King Solomon taxed the people to such an extent that it helped create the major split in our ranks and exacerbated the division with the northern tribes; his son Reheboam, continued the taxing practice which led to disaster.
The headline on the April 11 story about the East Ramapo public school district, “It’s Now Orthodox vs. Orthodox In Ramapo,” is stretching the truth. In contrast to the membership and Orthodox electorate of the school district, how many of them are affiliated with Uri L’Tzedek?
In response to the online Opinion piece by Stephanie Ives, “Why New Israel Fund Is Marching For Israel,” there is opposition to NIF participation in the Israel unity parade because some of its grantees boycott products produced beyond Israel’s 1949 armistice line. Such boycotts, unlike that of cottage cheese, and of stores open on Shabbat by the very observant, as mentioned by the author as justification, are far different. These are out of religious conviction or to lower the price of an item. Boycotts of “settlement products” perpetuated by the far left are organized and meant to cripple existing businesses based upon ideological differences.
I applaud the efforts of the Ruderman Foundation in bringing greater awareness of American Jewish life to Israeli leaders (“Schooling The Knesset,” Between The Lines, April 9). Especially valuable was the discussion of the various denominations and the limitations of a denominational system in serving Klal Yisrael. I am concerned, however, that those very limitations were reflected in the makeup of the discussants. It would have been valuable to all concerned, and particularly enlightening to the Israeli leaders in attendance, to have included representatives of post-denominational and pluralistic institutions in the gathering.
It is with great sadness that I read your article on how some of our young people are not going to seders (“Passover Seder Losing Steam As Key Marker Of Affiliation,” April 9). A seder done traditionally is a wonderful experience that can evoke discussion around the table on the very fundamental issue of freedom. It’s an issue that is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.