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Author:  Renee
E-mail:  not available
Date:  4/3/2006 1:13:00 PM
Subject:  Kol Isha
Message:       Dear Rabbi,
I'm a Sephardi that attends the local Othrodox (or what I thought was) Ashkenazi shul. There was a bar mitzvah this evening at Minha / Arvit. BEFORE hamavdil they pulled out a microphone and let an impodestly dressed 14 year old SING Havdalah! I was in shock. I called the Rabbi and he confirmed that she was over 13, that he was aware PRIOR to the singing and totally allowed it. He said "well, it doesn't happen often". I feel terrible and confused. Do I have to do teshuva? Should I even attend this shul any more? Please I need a serious reply as this is a small community and asking a local rabbi could be considered lashon hara. THANK YOU so much for your website and I and my family hope to merit to meet you one day. Regards... D.Y.
Reply:      It is time for a new shul. I would love to know what heter he had for this blatant issur of kol isha. I'd love to know who is matir. I take that back. It is probably lashon Hara

Dear Rabbi,

Thank you for stating this. I have now seen this in several different shuls in several different cities (six) which call themselves "Orthodox" including two which call themselves Sephardic. A few weeks ago it was an immodestly dressed 13 year old girl singing kiddush and something else (I don't know my family walked out) during Musaf Shabbat morning from the bimah of an "Orthodox" "Sephardic" synagogue.

I do hope that there are other people out there who are upset by this but any of the Rabbis I have spoken to locally have told me that "it is absolutely permitted and that those who have a problem with it are just Draconian (yes that exact word) in their attitudes toward women".

I was never able to get any answers regarding a Halachic basis for permitting it just "its not EXACTLY forbidden" and "kol Isha does not apply to prayers, don't you light Shabbat candles"?

As far as finding another shul, we have now as a family switched shuls three times over this very issue, but it is becoming so universal, it seems impossible to escape.

I have been told that this is not "yet" the norm in Brooklyn but I can tell you that it certainly is everywhere I have been "out of town".


Reply:  I'd love to know where in anywhere it says that a girl can sing for the shul by davening. 'Kol isha does not apply by prayers' is another attempt by the Yetzer hara to use a Mitzva as a way to cause people to sin. His favorite tool, is convincing you that what you are doing is really a Mitzva. (you're being mekarev her - sic)

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