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Women and Men in Communal Prayer

Women and Men in Communal Prayer

Halakhic Perspectives

By Daniel Sperber, Mendel Shapiro, Eliav Shochetman and Shlomo Riskin

Edited by Chaim Trachtman

Introduction by Tamar Ross

Communal prayer has always been a central component in Jewish
life. Traditional orthodox services are structured around spatial and
functional separation of men and women. In this book, introduced by Dr. Tamar
Ross, Rabbi Daniel Sperber presents a halakhic justification for expanding the
role of women in communal prayer services. Building on work by Rabbi Mendel
Shapiro (included in the volume) in which the legal sources are examined and
interpreted to permit women to lead parts of the service and participate in Torah
reading, Rabbi Sperber highlights the pivotal importance of kevod ha-beri'ot
(human dignity) in encouraging fuller participation of women in communal
prayer. Because of the relevance and timeliness of the topic, two articles that
express opposition to Rabbi Sperber's position are included- one by Rabbi
Shlomo Riskin and one by Professor Eliav Shochetman. This anthology represents
an example of a vibrant dialogue between leading scholars on a current issue and
highlights the dynamic nature of the halakhic process.




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Reviews

...every evolutionary path has its transformative moments and watershed experiences along the way, and this book is one of themReview by Blu Greenberg
The rise today of women to fuller, more equal participation in Jewish religious life is of historic significance and is, indeed, the eschatological dream of Judaism. Thankfully, it is being achieved by evolutionary means. Yet, every evolutionary path has its transformative moments and watershed experiences along the way, and this book is one of them. With his learning, his courage, his total grounding in the sea and language of halakhah, Rabbi Daniel Sperber connects the enterprise of partnership minyanim
almost seamlessly to the tradition. Sperber presumes women's intelligence, their faithfulness, their spiritual longing. In doing so, he honors the struggle of Orthodox women as one that enhances community " a machloket le'shem shamayim. But there's more here. From the extraordinary and elegant opening by Tamar Ross, to the creative foundation document by Mendel Shapiro, founding father and ideologue of the partnership minyanim, to the cogent and thoughtful dissenting views of Rabbis Shochetman and Riskin, every word in this treasured volume has value and meaning. Would that all halakhic and communal
issues that arise in our time be engaged in so profound an analysis and so civil a discourse!
(Posted on 6/2/2015)
Let those who believe that the question of whether or not women may chant and be called up to the Torah in public is both narrow and obscure, and has long been settled by Jewish law read this eye-opening book by thoughtful contemporary Orthodox scholars Review by Samuel C. Heilman, Queens College, City University
Let those who believe that the question of whether or not women may chant and be called up to the Torah in public is both narrow and obscure, and has long been settled by Jewish law read this eye-opening book by thoughtful contemporary Orthodox scholars and rabbis. They will soon discover that the question is not at all narrow and far from settled. In fact, it serves as key to discovering how Jewish law and changing social and cultural norms interact in important ways, while it shows us that examining women's
relationship to the Torah scroll opens the door to a wealth of ideas about their role in today's Jewish life and the changing nature of congregational prayer.
(Posted on 6/2/2015)
This book is Torah study on the highest levelReview by Marc B. Shapiro
The proper role of women in the synagogue is an issue that Modern Orthodoxy has been struggling with for over forty years.
While everyone agrees that halakhah has to guide all changes in synagogue practice, women's changing self-perception
and religious sentiment must be central to any discussion of synagogue life. In this provocative book, Rabbi Prof. Daniel
Sperber, using his characteristic erudition, makes the case that in the 21st century it is time for women to be given their
halakhic right and be permitted to read from the Torah. Together with the responses of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Prof. Eliav
Shochetman, this book is Torah study on the highest level.
(Posted on 6/2/2015)

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Additional Info

Additional Info

Format Hardcover
SKU ktav2340
Publisher Ktav Publishing House