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Woman’s Voice Movement Alert!

Here is an example of the importance of having a Woman’s Voice movement that has women singing or humming whenever they are out in public places with men in the vicinity:

Top settler rabbi: Soldiers will sooner choose death than suffer women’s singing

However, in a radio interview on Thursday, Rabbi Levanon criticized a possible ruling that would forbid religious soldiers from leaving events over women’s singing, saying…

“[The IDF] is bringing close the day in which rabbis will have to say to soldiers ‘you have to leave those events even if there’s a firing squad outside, and you’ll be shot to death,” Levanin said.

The Elon Moreh rabbi said he hoped that there will be “some wise people who will thwart this horrible move, and if not we’ll have no other choice,” adding that he would “recommend anyone who asked me against joining the army.”

Do you know why this wacko rabbi is such a sourpuss? It’s because he doesn’t have the joy of women singing in his life. Sadly, he is so joyless that he also appears to be educating a generation of young followers to follow his lead.

Now try to imagine the great joy that he, and his students, will experience if he could hear women singing wherever he goes? I think he’d be delirious with joy. You will change his life! So please help him if you can. If you’re a woman near or at Elon Moreh, his home community, sing away wherever you go. And if you’re not near Elon Moreh, don’t worry, sing away whenever and wherever you see men who look like they might be from Elon Moreh. Do it out of love for your Jewish “family” and do it out of sympathy for these forlorn and joyless cuckoo rabbis who belong with the Taliban or the Iran Supreme Council. Believe me, you will be doing them a world of good and also yourself. After all, he’s trying to shut your mouth.

44 Comments

  1. josh

    11/19/2011 at 1:13 pm

    This is just another uninformed and ignorantly discriminatory post on the subject. It’s clear that the uninformed feminists have decided to make a halabaloo about something that does not exist.

    The rabbis did not, and have not, said anything about banning women from singing in the army. Should I repeat that again? The rabbis did not, and have not said anything about banning women from singing in the army.

    What they did say is that religious soldiers should have the choice to leave such an event if they choose, since listening to a woman singing (one voice) is against halacha. C’est tout. An army committee has recommended that it become army regulations to not allow soldiers to leave during these events. Rabbi Levanon was speaking about what he would do if such a recommendation became official army regulation (and essentially contradicting Jewish halacha which the army normally tries to accommodate.

    The whacko uninformed feminists are actually protesting against the right of soldiers to religion. It has been asked rhetorically many times this past week, ‘would there be such a scandal if Druze sheiks advised the soldiers to leave during Jewish women’s singing?” (if they had such a Sharia law).

    A soldier should have a right to leave a cultural event that is against his beliefs, without being threatened with punishment. Cultural events are a nice diversion from regular army training, but not the main ideal. Liberals should listen to what they are saying before speaking automatic kneejerk antagonism against rabbis.

  2. TM

    11/20/2011 at 1:29 am

    Aaaaaah, thanks for explaining. I hope all the uninformed discriminatory women out there – the ones who bug all those religious men, which is virtually all women as you so kindly neglected to mention – sing whenever they are around any men. I sincerely hope the ones who launch this movement are the daughters of all the religious men since they are the first ones in line to suffer from these Taliban-like rules.

  3. josh

    11/20/2011 at 6:53 pm

    Reasonable people do not tend to appreciate or tolerate antagonistic and provocative people as you suggest all women become.

    And don’t put words in my mouth. All women do not bug religious men and you’re just being silly now instead of wanting to withhold individual religious rights as liberals should strive.

  4. Ben David

    11/20/2011 at 7:16 pm

    aaaahhhh – now THAT’/s the middle I know an remember.

    You’ve been inching towards sensible self-defense in your recent posts about Israel – I hardly recognized you.

    Thank G-d you’ve reverted to type – picking up an issue by the wrong end, and then brandishing your ignorance with a chutzpadik flourish that only a liberal American Jew can muster.

    Again – for the record: nobody’s shutting up women – it’s about men who wish to avoid *solo* singing by a female performer being allowed to do so.

    We’re not talking about choral or group singing – which has a long, glorious history in the IDF. We’re talking about would-be Gwen Stefanis strutting their stuff in “cultural” events unrelated to actual army service – events designed to provide a bit of a social outlet for non-religious soldiers, but completely irrelevant to religious soldiers.

    So middeleh – do you REALLY think most such singing is innocent? That most female vocalists today are just, y’know, expressing their feeeeelings without dressing sexy or singing songs laden with double entendres? (go ahead – I’ll wait while you look up “double entendre”…)

    Or that most female soldiers getting up to sing/karaoke at these “cultural events” aren’t at least partially on the make?

    So spare us the dripping sarcasm about “there are these people called women”… you needn’t worry: Orthodox men have figured out how to make babies.

    You liberal Jews whine about THAT too… but what the hey, at least the good old abysmally-wrong-yet-unrepentantly-self-righteous middle is back.

  5. Nickidewbear

    11/20/2011 at 8:41 pm

    My own granddad– not a clergyman by any chance– doesn’t like music himself. Similary, Toby Keith’s wife– Tricia nee Lucas– and Tricia’s daughter Shelley nee Reeve don’t. It’s a biological thing, like with this clergyman, I suppose.

  6. TM

    11/21/2011 at 1:32 pm

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=246210

    Seems like Ben David and Josh are not representing Levanon’s words precisely. I encourage them to read Rabbi Gilad’s rejection of what he said. Today Benny Gantz also rejected Levanon’s statement.

    But you see, this is just a blip, guys. This is actually just the beginning of that slide down that really slippery slope of religious extremism and intolerance. Read my post from 2006 and see where we are now. Now imagine 5 years from now if people don’t stand up to this vociferously.

    I’m not kidding. Women in public spaces should hum and sing whenever they can. You’ll note I’m not suggesting bra burnings or walking around topless. Just singing and humming. Why are you guys feeling so threatened?

  7. josh

    11/26/2011 at 3:01 pm

    What exactly did I miss in that article? Did Rav Levanon come out against women singing? NO.

    Rav Levanon said that soldiers should [be allowed to] leave the events with women singing. I think it is you who are misrepresenting Rav Gilad who merely said Rav Levanon’s comments were unfortunate.

    And FWIW, Benny Gantz made a little idiot of himself by commenting on what ‘he had heard’ and not actually about hearing the entire story.

  8. themiddle

    11/26/2011 at 8:02 pm

    “some wise people who will thwart this horrible move, and if not we’ll have no other choice,” adding that he would “recommend anyone who asked me against joining the army.”

    This is Levanon regarding the possible creation of a rule preventing soldiers from leaving any form of event where women are singing. What were you saying again?

    Rav Gilad is being diplomatic because Levanon has put him between a rock and a hard place.

    Gantz didn’t make a fool of himself, Levanon made a fool of himself as well as anybody who will follow his ideas.

    We can only hope that some women are reading these posts and singing in public as much as possible. I mean, seriously, do you want Israel to become another Iran? Because that’s what this is, Josh, the beginning of the flexing of the theocratic muscles of the extremist rabbis. Is that what you want?

    Let me assure you that in the end you will find yourself a victim of this extremism. I remember predicting many years ago that the entire conversion debate would come back to haunt the MO Jews in Israel and abroad. It did. The ultra-Orthodox ended up successfully excluding and demeaning conversions by non-ultra-Orthodox Orthodox rabbis. What you are witnessing here is a direct result of that. This is a machmir and he is doing it in part because he has to contend with a universe filled with ultra-Orthodox rabbis who are also machmirim. And everybody keeps moving to more and more extreme forms of Judaism. In the end, you and your family will be living according to much more stringent precepts than you imagine today, just as what we’re seeing now is far more extreme than what we saw even five years ago.

    The courageous and correct position here, Josh, is one of vocal rejection of what is happening, not one of acceptance. Start by defending your women’s rights.

    Oh, and don’t kid yourself, at some point, an attempt to turn Israel into a theocracy will destroy it for real. I’ve seen the secular and traditional families in Israel, the ones who are well educated and who found start-ups and who work for Google and Intel and Microsoft. You know what? They will leave. They will leave with their education, their taxes, their military service, their companies and future companies, their academic capabilities…and their children. And while you might think that this would simply allow you and your friends to control everything, you’re wrong. You’ll be left in an ultra-Orthodox majority state, going from hachmara to hachmara that doesn’t have the manpower or the economic ability to survive. All the people you need, the ones with options, will be living in the USA, Canada and Europe where they can enjoy a normal life without religious constrictions and the frier-hood of risking their sons’ lives to defend some crazy religious fundies. Oh, and all those of us who today actively defend Israel in North America and Europe won’t be able to any more, because who wants to defend a sexist, discriminatory, undemocratic theocracy. In fact, other than Juan Cole, who can even defend such a place?

  9. josh

    11/27/2011 at 6:04 pm

    You really are being dense here. Rav Levanon did not come out against women singing, but rather against forcing religious soldiers from their right to religious belief, to avoid hearing women singing.

    Women’s rights do not include trampling my rights. They can sing all they want and wherever they want, I have the right to leave those locations but you are being the extremist here. You want to force me to hear them.

    As for your other points, you have no clue what you are talking about. Israelis are going through a mini return to roots. Being traditional, learning Judaism is in. Sure, you can still find your extreme-secular, but they are a dwindling minority. You want an example? At the IT office I work at, the religious are more of a minority than in the population – about 5%. For a bout a yearm a few seculars nagged at me to give a weekly dvar torah and I resisted, until the pressure grew and more demanded it of me. No one is forced to stay in the meeting, some rarely leave, the vast majority stay, and if they see the meeting is up without me speaking, they (the non-religious) demand everyone sits back down so I can talk.

    Judaism is not getting extreme, rather, it’s shedding its diluted version. Reform didn’t work. Conservatism didn’t work. These are dwindling parts of Judaism. On the other hand, modern orthodoxy is getting stronger. Modern orthodoxy was never about mixing Torah and going to NBA games and Hollywood movies and thankfully the youth are ridding themselves of that.

    Bnei Akiva – the ‘religious’ youth movement. Traditionally mixed and many parents are striving to keep it that way, but you know what??? The kids are actually demanding that they have separate girls/boys groups.

    Israel won’t become Iran because the rabbis take over – this is just typical scare tactic. Your secular families have not left. They will not leave and go to the West which is crumbling and falling apart. We had our summer festival, but your American fall and the European crash are definitely not attracting anyone to leave Israel.

    And FWIW, you should have kept the Haredim in the yeshiva. Forcing them to go to school and into the workplace and army means they will merely have better tools to take over. Think about that.

  10. themiddle

    11/28/2011 at 12:32 am

    Josh, women in your world cannot become rabbis, cannot study with men, cannot lead a congregation in prayer, cannot read to the congregation from the Torah and are therefore always excluded from the leadership circles. The prohibition on women singing in public is simply another mechanism for keeping women away from a role in public spheres since the rule was established not to prevent some women from dancing like Madonna but specifically to eliminate women from any leadership role in the synagogue – which used to be the heart of the community.

    You want to live that way? Fine. The women in your world want to live that way? Great. Nobody is stopping you.

    The minute you bring these beliefs and practices into the public sphere, however, you now bring ALL other women into your version of what is right and wrong, what can and can’t be done, and especially the role of women in society.

    Sorry, but that simply can’t happen. If you want to live that way, live it inside your community. If you want to impose it on the rest of society, then please stay inside your community. Oh wait, you need soldiers to defend that community and your state. Well, those soldiers can show respect for certain aspects of your observance, like for example, ensuring that the food in the army is kosher or some leeway when you leave for shabbat by letting you get home on time. But restricting the freedom of others to express themselves? Imposing your version of morality on the general population? No.

    As for the rest of what you wrote, nobody is giving the ultra-Orthodox more tools. What’s happening is simply that their numbers are growing exponentially and they’re flexing those muscles. Their numbers are growing rapidly because they didn’t have to worry about earning, they didn’t have to worry about fighting, they didn’t have to worry about anything other than studying and having babies. Bringing them into the real world is the best recipe for fixing this problem…together with writing a clear constitution that prohibits a theocracy in Israel.

    Regarding secular and traditional families, you seem to misunderstand your study group. They are interested in the beautiful part of our traditions, not the ugly part where you exclude women from key public roles. They want a better understanding of their roots and their religion. That is lovely and I hope they gain a lot from your lessons. Just not the chauvinistic part. And in case you’re confused, you should understand that there is an undercurrent of rage going on right now in many families who have daughters in the army and who will have daughters in the army. Secular and traditional mothers, as well as fathers, are saying “Is this what the future brings?” Their daughters, who are perceived by them to be equal to the men (because they are), are being blackballed by some crazy kippa srugah rabbis and their followers.

    This is going to be the last straw for many of them, especially if it represents merely the beginning of a genuine movement towards theocracy. They already bear a huge burden, as the J14 movement shows, that they’re finding quite challenging. They pay the brunt of the taxes, they do the brunt of the military service (your community’s girls don’t go to the army, do they?) and they do most of the real earning work in the economy. In exchange, they have a liberal state, with liberal values, which you want to turn into a religious state. You don’t understand: they won’t stand for it. They will leave. At least, the ones who can – which are the ones you need the most – will leave. Nobody there believes in theocracies or dictatorships and all of them are constantly on their toes not to be somebody else’s frier.

    Well, when you tell them they need to work their asses off, pay whopping taxes, lose years to the army (much of that time used to defend settlements) and then they also need to shut their daughters up? Because of you? Then you’re making them your frier. It will be over very quickly, Josh, and contrary to your belief that the country can run without them, rest assured it can’t. It can run without the ultra-Orthodox and it can run without the Kibbutzim, but it can’t run without the average traditional and secular Israeli families because they’re the engine of the car.

  11. josh

    11/30/2011 at 4:21 am

    but specifically to eliminate women from any leadership role in the synagogu – that is your wrong opinion, not even a misrepresentation of halacha.

    You keep ignoring the simple fact that absolutely no one has demanded that women stop singing.

    I really don’t accept your doomsday ‘last straw’ scenario. People are free to leave, some do, the vast majority stay.

    The brunt of military service is moving to the religious people. Secular people do not make enough kids

    your community’s girls don’t go to the army Wrong, but I don’t think that the army is a good place for the girls. Instead of wasting their time making coffee in some office, or teaching me how to operate a tank, they could be getting university degrees at an earlier age and making Israel better. Being the army is often a selfish – ‘get an army experience’.

    They will leave. At least, the ones who can – which are the ones you need the most – says who?

    Anyway, the ‘secular’ movement is doing a great job at whining. By forcing the Haredim into the army and the workplace, you are actually preparing them to take over much earlier than planned.

  12. themiddle

    11/30/2011 at 5:49 am

    Josh, if a woman cannot become a rabbi, she cannot be a leader of the community. If a woman cannot study with the men, she cannot be a leader in the community. Was this done intentionally? You betcha. Was it done maliciously? Not at all. It was the way societies were constructed, until very recently as a matter of fact, so it shouldn’t surprise anybody that this was the way they did it a couple of thousand years ago and a thousand years ago and five hundred years ago, etc.

    And now they – the men – are defacing or demanding the avoidance of women in advertisements, of women in public performances in the army and although we haven’t discussed this, in the army in general if they’re near the men. It’s an extremely disrespectful way of treating women, Josh.

    And your community’s girls do not go to the army. They do national service, which in my book is just fine. However, let’s not kid each other, they don’t go to the army because it is considered a place that will defile them and damage their morality while national service supposedly will not. Right now 45% of Israeli women are avoiding the army, many by claiming religious status. Since you have to figure 15% ultra-Orthodox, the question is where are the other 30% coming from? Well, that’s an easy one. The male participation rate is about 70% and so if you consider that 15% of the girls are haredi and 15% are secular fakers, that leaves another 15% which corresponds nicely with the percentage of modern Orthodox in Israel. Your girls aren’t serving in the army.

    Finally, regarding the “secular movement,” whatever that is. I assume you mean the j-14 movement. Dude, no matter how much it hurts to admit it, you need to be honest here: it is thanks to them there is an Israel in the first place, and it is thanks to them that Israel is the liberal democracy that it is with strong press, judiciary and freedom of speech (which some of your buddies are trying mightily to undermine as I write this), and it is thanks to them that the economy is thriving and can support all those subsidized settlements and all those large Haredi (and Arab) families, and it is thanks to them that the military has won its wars and continues to have enough men and women in it to fight wars in the first place.

    And if the Haredim are going to take over, I suspect it’s better to expose them to the world they’re going to control rather then let them continue living in ghettoes and avoiding public duties and responsibilities that are incumbent on everybody in Israeli society.

  13. josh

    11/30/2011 at 6:27 am

    You are being really, really dense here, no one has said anything about banning women from performances but rather allowing individuals the right to participate or not.

    When you get past that lie, I’ll continue the discussion about the other things.

  14. josh

    11/30/2011 at 3:36 pm

    You noticed how all of this has nothing to do with what Rav Levanon, or any rabbi, said in the first place – and the point of this post. I’d expect you, an assumingly intelligent person, to find out the facts (as opposed to the many other people who were also misled by fanatics who were told that a rabbi said something he never said.

    Obviously, you don’t care about that even after I’ve pointed out time after time, you got yourself dragged into a discussion of something that never happened – banning women from something.

  15. themiddle

    12/1/2011 at 4:19 am

    Josh, it’s you who is denying reality.

    Let’s put in your own terms, so that you can understand. You write,

    “no one has said anything about banning women from performances”

    It is true that Levanon did not DIRECTLY say anything about banning women from performances.

    But you are wrong about the fact that what he and his supporters are saying IS that women should be banned from public performances unless the audiences do not include men. Let’s analyze this.

    They are saying that if women perform, then religious men should not be present at all. If women perform anyway, then religious men should stop joining the IDF, and those who are already in should die rather than submit to their officers’ orders to treat women as equals by permitting them the same public voice as men.

    In other words, shut the women up or we will walk away from the IDF. Shut the women up or we will disobey orders.

    Sorry, but that is no different than banning women directly from performing. It is blackmail that is intended to squelch their voices indirectly. You are denying what is plain to see.

    So all of this is precisely about what Levanon said, what his supporters say and the facts as they have been reported by numerous sources. This is pressure and blackmail to change a system that has been around for a century. It’s not as if all the MO soldiers weren’t listening to the army bands for decades. So what has changed that now it’s a life and death matter? What has changed is that the leadership of the MO (that is, all the male rabbis since women can’t be rabbis) are now using the increased percentage of MO soldiers as influence to blackmail the army into changing the place of women in the system.

    And don’t play games here. You know as well as I that this is just the first fight. In three years some rabbi from your community will say that women can’t serve in the same room as observant soldiers. Three years later, some rabbi will declare that women should not be part of an army that has religious soldiers in it. And three years after that…well, you figure out where that slope is going.

  16. josh

    12/1/2011 at 5:30 am

    This is jewlicious, and there are primarily Jews here. One of the prime is to respect your fellow man as you would respect yourself.

    One of the ways to do this is to not put words into anyone else’s mouth like you are doing to Rav Levanon and me.

    He did not say it, so stop saying what his intentions were. You don’t even know him, and probably have never even met him or read anything else about him except for some out of context soundbite. It is especially this type of sloppy blog reporting (opinion piece) I think about while laughing each time I hear the suggestion that bloggers be given media credentials simple because their reach might be large.

    To the point that you are finally admitting, Rav Levanon, or anyone else in the national religious leadership say anything about banning women from singing in front of soldiers. They have been forced into the public discussion because a few cadets out of a few hundred left a cultural performance and their commanders kicked them off the prestigious officer’s course.

    Rav Levanon did not threaten to that the girls shut up or he pulls out his students, but rather only if the army is going to force them to listen to girls singing as a recent army committee advised. It is not blackmail, it is not pressure, it is a call to simple reasoning. It’s really pathetic that the self-described liberals who are supposed to defend the rights of minorities, start frothing at the mouth when it comes to religious soldiers demanding respect of their beliefs.

    It is not me making this up, even Amnon Levi in Ynet confirms that Rav Levanon did not demand this, and goes one further and says that perhaps Haredim should not be in the army in the first place. I don’t agree with much of the article, but just food for thought: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4154324,00.html

    This is not the first fight, and not the last. Amnon Levi talks about the army being secular and that it is not the place for Haredim and not worth the effort and expenditure. So choose between the two: adapt the army to respect those who believe in Halacha or let all religious boys to opt out.

  17. TM

    12/1/2011 at 12:49 pm

    Everything I wrote in the last comment and in the post stands.

    The punishment for those cadets was too severe, and lines of communication should have been opened to fix the outcome, but the solution is not to squelch women’s voices but for the Orthodox to change their position. That’s the least they can do in gratitude for the role secular Israelis have played in creating, supporting and defending not just Israel itself but also every single one of the settlements beyond ’67 lines.

    As for Levanon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that prior to writing this post, I first read a number of articles about him and his deeds so as to better understand this blackmail attempt to squelch women’s voices. I realize that doesn’t meet the lofty standards of Ynet, which has published no fewer than two articles in the past month quoting wacky leftist anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein’s assertions that the Mossad is behind every explosion in the region as if his assertions are fact, but I do try.

  18. josh

    12/1/2011 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you for reiterating that you are truly a fool in this case..

  19. themiddle

    12/1/2011 at 9:46 pm

    I can only hope your wife and daughter are humming and singing around other men whenever they have a chance.

    Oh and enjoy the read and the comments: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4142872,00.html

  20. josh

    12/2/2011 at 1:26 am

    It’s certainly not the Jewish way to be provocative and frankly, it’s forbidden. This is one of our unique customs that has kept us a cohesive unit over the past two thousand years of diaspora. Shabbat shalom.

  21. TM

    12/2/2011 at 2:00 am

    Singing is not a provocation in any way. Granted, if you sing like Madonna or one of her clones, they are trying to be provocative, but that’s not what we’ve been discussing here. If a woman is perceived as a sex object, it is not because she sings.

    Shabbat shalom.

  22. josh

    12/2/2011 at 3:48 am

    1) Singing is not a provocation, but the activity you are instigating is.

    2) Forcing men to listen to women (or anyone) sing is liberal hypocrisy.

  23. TM

    12/2/2011 at 11:29 am

    1. It’s only a provocation if you objectify every or any woman merely because she’s singing.

    2. Forcing women to hide themselves, to disappeear from ads, to disappear from public events, to dress “modestly,” to be refused the possibility to become rabbis and to sit separately from men on buses is pernicious patriarchal religious sexism.

  24. josh

    12/3/2011 at 11:26 am

    1) No.
    2) No.

    Why should you care about that so much, create your own religion and do what you want.

    • froylein

      12/3/2011 at 12:06 pm

      He well might if down the millenias’ road there was not a risk that sages might flip it upside down.

      • themiddle

        12/3/2011 at 5:15 pm

        Nah, the problem is that women really were second class citizens a couple of thousand years ago. You don’t have female priests, you don’t have female leaders, land is almost always passed on to the sons, when a daughter marries she goes to live with her husband’s family, no female rabbis are permitted and therefore their voices are absent from the mishna, etc. What’s happening now is simply a continuation of this history. Just enter any European synagogue that’s pre-WW2 and you’ll see the women are usually relegated to the back behind some screen.

        It’s just that the world and our understanding of the status of women have changed considerably in recent centuries. If some people wish to return to the past and diminish the roles and places of women within society, they should be prevented from doing so. They should certainly not be enabled by governments and state institutions such as the army. In fact, I would say that there should be laws in place to ensure that women may not be pressured by their society to abide by ancient laws that contradict their equal rights.

        • froylein

          12/3/2011 at 6:21 pm

          Actually, the women of Biblical times were held in high regard. [In Ancient Egypt, there even was gender equality with the exception that men were not permitted to attend childbirth.] Traditionally, Judaism as well as the other Abrahamic faiths view humans as a unity of man and woman with the smallest element of society being families represented on the outside by the man and the woman / women (polygamy was there for demographic as well as humanitarian and ecological reasons) being the lady of the house – and the treasury. (That’s actually what balaboosteh originally means.) It was the Enlightment that gradually caused a shift of focus onto the individual, and ultra-Orthodox Judaism was a reactionary movement or at least that’s what it turned out to be.
          In religious (note: religious, not extremist) Judaism, there are way fewer obligations for women than for men. Religious Judaism, to my knowledge, has always been supportive of girls / women being literate.
          Still, I once read that, oddly enough, it was because of ultra-Orthodox women being exploited in early Industrial Revolution factories that the European feminist movement came into being as trade unions took their side.

          Whoever gains sexual arousal from a woman’s voice may call me at 5.99€ per minute.

          • josh

            12/3/2011 at 6:39 pm

            Froylein,
            I’ll put it this way. Living in a world of pop culture with a mass media which is increasingly pounding people with sounds and messages, desensitizes people.

            Someone who does not take part in that (no tv, no Hollywood, not being forced to listen to middle’s prostitutes) can get excited over the smallest of things and subtlest of voices.

          • froylein

            12/4/2011 at 5:54 am

            Josh, I beg to disagree.

            Firstly, science has shown that men get not sexually stimulated by women’s voices – it’s the other way round. A certain type of male voice can cause increased blood flow in female genitals. Those men that dial phone sex numbers likely do not do so because they aren’t in that type of mood to begin with.

            Secondly, as was confirmed to me by a Satmar rabbi, the singing of non-Jewish females is permissible to be listened to. So it is okay to listen to female singers as long as the content is appropriate.

            I know a lot of Charedim on a close enough level to know they listen to Shakira (I questioned this choice, of course, upon which a friend answered, “Zi zingt azoi sheine nigunim”.), Celine Dion, Garbage etc. – not in hiding, not in locations where you’d find those “on the edge” but also in their cars with their elders present.

            The aspect of sexual arousal therefore can only come into play when a male listener is exposed to a Jewish woman singing in a non-casual setting, which pretty much moves the whole scenario into the context of public prayer rather than anything else and even then does it take a certain precondition to find a woman’s voice sexually stimulating.

            Also, I object to your choice of words in labelling female singers “prostitutes”. While I agree there are many that will prostitute themselves, which literally means to showcase their bodies and not necessarily to engage in sexual intercourse, in lieu of a singing voice worth listening to, there are also many female singers that dress conservatively, even boringly plain.

    • themiddle

      12/3/2011 at 5:03 pm

      1. Yes

      2. Sorry dude, I am Jewish. And at the very least, we can agree that I am more respectful of around 51% of the Jewish population than you are.

      You don’t own Judaism, and the only reason you are able to control significant elements of Judaism in Israel is politics and the spinelessness of the secular politicians who have sold out the majority of the population and have permitted observant extremists (which now includes the leadership and large parts of the kipa sruga/dati leumi/MO public or whatever you want to call yourselves) to use the authority of the state to affect the lives of all Jews (and many non-Jews) in Israel. It is shameful and short-sighted.

  25. josh

    12/3/2011 at 6:40 pm

    Middle, let me shed a tear for your whining about Israeli politics and spineless Israelis :’-(

    I’ve said it here a few times over the lat ten years. If you want something to change, make aliyah with your congregation and participate in the rebirth of self-governing Judaism. The 51% you claim to represent are simply deciding to assimilate and evaporate and it’s obvious that the zillions pouring into the New Israel Fund and other Ford Foundation joints is not helping much at all.

    The fact is that the vast majority of Israelis know what’s real and what isn’t. Orthodox Judaism (ashkenazi and Sepharadi) is what most of the world came out of. This new thing call Conservatism and Reformism is relegated to white Germans and Americans and disappearing anyway.

  26. TM

    12/3/2011 at 11:30 pm

    Whatever. I hope your wife, daughter and the women in your town sing and hum wherever and whenever they are around men, especially Orthodox men.

  27. TM

    12/3/2011 at 11:43 pm

    “, not being forced to listen to middle’s prostitutes”

    I didn’t notice this. Are you referring to any women who sing in public? I realize that I suggested your wife and daughter also sing and I just want to be clear that I don’t think of them as you do – that is, as harlots. I think that women who sing are, you know, just women. You need to overcome your base and infantile bias.

  28. TM

    12/3/2011 at 11:54 pm

    , not being forced to listen to middle’s prostitutes”

    Actually, now that I think about this statement, I think you have proven how disgusting your attitude, which is clearly in agreement with Rabbi Levanon’s, really is with respect to women.

  29. josh

    12/4/2011 at 3:03 am

    :’-(

    It’s about time you come to terms with yourself. Contrary to you and your army of women (thank God they don’t exist), the vast majority of women, Jews and non-Jews, Reform and Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist, religious and secular, respect other people and are not hypocrites.

    Shavuah tov.

  30. themiddle

    12/4/2011 at 4:39 am

    Let’s see if I understand, Josh. You’re on the side that doesn’t want women singing in public if there are men around because it’s “provocative.” You’re on the side that thinks it’s fine if no women are on rabbinical courts and no women are on the selection committees of rabbinical courts or the rabbinate. You’re on the side that thinks it’s fine of those courts determine the fate of women by marriage or by divorce. You’re on the side that calls women “prostitutes” if they heed the call to sing and hum around men.

    And you’re telling me that I need to respect other people?

    Hey, if your wife gets on a bus where the women sit in the back, are you okay with that? I assume you think it’s being disrespectful to the men if she considers sitting anywhere else, right?

    Hey, if your wife is humming to herself in the supermarket and a man with a kippah approaches, should she shut up to respect him or continue humming? If she notices he’s there and still hums, is she being a prostitute? After all, she knows her humming is a sexually provocative act.

    Hey, if your daughter enlists in the IDF or even does national service and her job requires her to speak to audiences that include men, even some Orthodox men, should she decline to do so because they’ll be busy checking her out? If so, is there any public sphere in which women may actually participate? How many women in the Knesset belong to the Orthodox parties?

    Shavua tov.

  31. josh

    12/4/2011 at 5:48 am

    Don’t you want to sleep?

    No,
    stop putting words into my mouth. I am not against women singing in public, I am against you for instigating women to be provocative and sing in spite when they are around Orthodox men.

    I am not against women singing in public (though I should be by the way you are trying to pigeonhole me) but I do support the right of individuals to leave the area that women are singing in and I am AGAINST liberal hypocrisy that forces religious people to listen to women singing.

    The ‘your prostitutes’ I refer to is definitely not for all women who sing in public, just the ones YOU are instigating to be provocative. My wife is allowed to hum all she wants in the supermarket and I know that she will specifically not go up to a man and hum next to him. I know that my wife and daughters will not specifically hum and likewise they won’t go flash some skin either.

    FWIW, the primitive values you think we are going back to is a worldwide phenomenon that is rejecting the promiscuous lifestyle of flaunting and revealing everything, demonstrated by facebook and twitter as well, and the modest attitude that Judaism and halacha promote.

  32. themiddle

    12/4/2011 at 1:32 pm

    Let me know when you plan to send your wife to the Taliban clothing store.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4021877,00.html

    In the meantime, you need to understand that there is nothing provocative in women singing, even around Orthodox men. Just as there is nothing provocative in a woman sitting next to a man on a public bus. It is the men’s problem because their mindset is, um, not where it should be.

    Visualize this: a woman is walking down the street singing a Naomi Shemer song. Nearby are some men with Kippahs. Is she being provocative because she’s singing or are they being idiots to be offended by her singing and then trying to turn laws and institutions to reject her ability to do so?

    Nowhere did I suggest that your wife go right up to a man and hum next to him. I suggested that she do so whenever there are men around and specifically Orthodox men. There are two ways to view this: 1. she is singing a song; or, 2. she is being provocative and a prostitute. I say the former, you say the latter. Which one of us is sane and which one of us is insane?

  33. josh

    12/4/2011 at 3:17 pm

    Froylein, the word ‘prostituting’ does not need to entail something sexual at all.

    MIddle, what’s your point about the Taliban women?

    An informed blogger like yourself would know that they, like Neturei Karta, are condemned by even the ‘ultra’ Haredi Eda Hacharedit. You also would know as being a contributor to the media, that anytime you bring information to the public, you risk giving it more publicity. As opposed to the tiny NK who are sick for hugging people who want to kill us and would not attract many followers though anarchists would feel at home with them, the Taliban girls keep to themselves and there is actually a certain element of mystery and rebelliousness that would in fact attract more women – and so their numbers are growing, not shrinking, thanks to people like you.

    I don’t understand why I need to reiterate the same thing over and over. There is absolutely something very provocative about women singing around men who do not wish to hear them like you are condoning.

    Forget the singing, let’s say y e l l i n g . Find & Replace all instances of the word singing above with the word yelling. Let’s say halacha bans yelling because Jews are quiet people. Soldiers are at a cultural event where men are yelling. They choose to leave. The army wants to force them to stay. Rabbi says that soldiers should be allowed to step out and if they are forced to stay, they should not be in the army. Along comes middle to propose that men run around the country and yell at every instance, especially with religious people around despite that they don’t want to hear the yelling in the first place. Your are prostituting the men in this case and being provocative. Capiche?

    Women can wander the world and sing what they want and whenever they want. They do not have to shut up if a religious man comes into the room (though…), they do not have to leave the stage if religious men are in the crowd. BUT, you are being a liberal hypocrite by suggesting women find men and sing around them. (Reminder: And if you’re not near Elon Moreh, don’t worry, sing away whenever and wherever you see men who look like they might be from Elon Moreh. FWIW, my wife does know men from Elon Moreh and would certainly not be intrusive.) You are being a liberal hypocrite for saying that soldiers cannot choose to leave a location for the duration of women singing. You are a liberal hypocrite for not promoting the religious rights of a minority (religious Jews). You are a liberal hypocrite for misrepresenting that anyone rabbi wants to prevent women soldiers from singing at public events.

    Frankly, I don’t expect you to back down. There are so many different exercises that show one to be a liberal hypocrite. All you have to do is replace the word rabbi in your original post above with the word Kes (as in Ethiopian rabbi) The Kes have declared that Ethiopian soldiers should not listen to women singing and should leave the room. You would never, in a zillion years, call an Ethiopian Kes primitive or ‘whacko’ or criticize the Ethiopian Beta Israel for their selective processes either (that is stricter than the rabanut). If anyone is whacko here, it’s you.

    The world I like to visualize is a world where people respect each other and allow each other to practice their religion freely.

  34. themiddle

    12/4/2011 at 4:50 pm

    Josh,

    The problem is that we have a fundamental disagreement about the role of women in society and the place of women in society. We also have a disagreement about whether women are to blame for men’s physical and mental reactions to them, particularly as the issue relates to innocent activities such as singing in public, riding a bus or wearing clothes that don’t meet whatever standard you’ve set on the basis of what you think God expects from women.

    I respect your right to teach your community’s women to accept these views and the rules you’d like them to obey. I respect your right to ask your wife and daughter to abide by these views and rules and if your wife and daughter agree, I respect their right to abide by these rules as long as they don’t conflict with the laws of the state. That’s where my respect ends. I do not respect your right to take your views and attempt or succeed in enforcing those views in public or on those members of the public who do not subscribe to your views.

    It’s really quite simple: keep it in your own home.

  35. josh

    12/4/2011 at 5:30 pm

    Once again, no. We are not even discussing the same thing. You’re trying to avoid the idiotic point you brought up above in the first place and I have yet to say anything about women’s role in society, except that they do not have a right to be provocative at someone else’s expense (going up to Elon Moren men, or people who look like them, and singing in their face). You think you are waving the sword of women’s rights, but trampling someone else’s rights is not the way to get there.

    We are talking about forcing soldiers to listen to women singing and you calling leading Israeli rabbis whacko for something they have not even called for.

    And you have no idea about and this has nothing to do with my community.

    ‘We’ want to keep it in our home. ‘We’ do not want to forbid women from singing at army events or in public. ‘We’ demand that we have the choice to leave certain locations so we are not offended. It seems ‘we’ are being the pragmatic and compromising, and you are are insisting we violate our beliefs.

  36. TM

    12/4/2011 at 6:16 pm

    Good, then keep it in your homes and community. Keep it out of the public sphere.

    The IDF is the public sphere and if you demand that the biases toward women that should be remaining in your home now have to become part of IDF culture (and you kinda let the cat out of the bag when you called women who sing in public prostitutes), expect rejection and a strong reaction. Keep it in Elon Moreh and you’ll be left alone in Elon Moreh.

    Like I said, simple.

  37. Harry

    5/12/2012 at 2:38 am

    What a load of rubbish!

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