Tag Archives: Women

Avodah Zarah Wigs II

I found a responsum on the subject of wigs made in India from, surprisingly, a number of years ago. R. Moshe Shternbuch has a long discussion of the various issue in his Teshuvos ve-Hanhagos vol. 2 no. 414 (consider that volume 4 was recently published, so this is an old teshuvah). He concludes that such wigs are assur and that ...

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Avodah Zarah Wigs

I first heard about this a month or two ago. It seems that there are idolatrous religions in the Far East in which one ritual is the cutting off and donation of hair to their false gods. This hair is then sold for use in wigs that are marketed throughout the world. If it turns out, as many are claiming, ...

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Kol Ishah III

(continued from here) V. Misexplaining Ervah R. Berman, in elaborating on the Franco-German position that he claimed to have found, explained that one may not recite keri’as Shema while listening to a woman sing because a woman’s voice is distracting. “[T]he central concern with hearing a woman’s voice is not its intrinsic sensuousness, but the purely functional concern that it ...

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Kol Ishah II

I came across a good online essay by R. Howard Jachter about the practical aspects of kol ishah in contemporary society. Most of the essay is a discussion of contemporary halakhah, but he concludes with the following important statement: Observance of the Kol Isha prohibition is quite challenging for us as this prohibition runs counter to the prevailing Western culture. ...

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Kol Ishah

It is generally understood that a man is not allowed to hear a woman’s singing voice. Exactly when this applies – only while she is in view or even otherwise, only live or even recorded, etc. – is a complicated matter of dispute that everyone should resolve with their own rabbis. I will not address these important practical topics. Instead, ...

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Women’s Prayer Groups – R. Avi Weiss’ Position

Introduction R. Avi Weiss is a very successful pulpit rabbi and Jewish activist. He has founded the organization Amcha that tries to stand up for the Jewish people in a number of venues. His efforts on behalf of the Jewish people and individual Jews in unfortunate situations demonstrate a caring heart and an effective organizational skill. However, in the area ...

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Women’s Prayer Groups – R. J. David Bleich’s Position

R. J. David Bleich is, in my opinion, an unfortunately under-appreciated giant of our generation. He holds a PhD in Philosoephy, lectures on Hullin and other subjects to semihah students at Yeshiva University, is a co-head of a kollel for dayanus at YU, teaches at Yeshiva College and Cardozo Law School and is a world-renowned expert on bio-medical ethics. He ...

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Women’s Prayer Groups – R. Eliezer Berkovits’ Position

In his book, Jewish Women in Time and Torah, R. Eliezer Berkovits discusses many issues regarding contemporary women and has a short section on Women’s Prayer Groups (pp. 74-83). R. Eliezer Berkovits studied in the Hildesheimer Institute in Berlin under the great scholar R. Yehiel Ya’akov Weinberg (author of Seridei Eish) and briefly served as a congregational rabbi in Nazi-dominated ...

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Women’s Prayer Groups – R. Yehuda Henkin’s Position II

Introduction I wrote in an earlier post in describing the writings of R. Yehuda Henkin: However, I do not believe that his responsa will ever become mainstream because his method of approaching a question is fairly unique and idiosyncratic. Let me once again clarify that I did not intend to insult R. Henkin with this comment. I was trying to ...

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Women’s Prayer Groups – R. Yehuda Henkin’s Position

The time has come to summarize and critique the writings of those who permit Women’s Prayer Groups. The first in this series is R. Yehuda Henkin, although as we shall see he does not entirely fit into this group. R. Yehuda Henkin is the grandson of the renowned ga’on R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, who was a world-recognized posek in the ...

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