Women and Communal Prayer

Women and Communal Prayer Review Essay Yeshivah of Flatbush Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives, by Daniel Sperber, Mendel Shapiro, Eliav Shochetman, and Shlomo Riskin. Introduction by Tamar Ross, edited by Chaim Trachtman. Jersey City: Ktav/JOFA, 2010. 411 pp. $24.95. Reviewing a book usually focuses on the presentation of its main theme. But this volume also demands a discussion of much more: the relationship of its contents to the title; the choice of authors who deal with the issues; the nature of the introduction; and the publisher. Indeed, in some ways the main topic is far from the most interesting. One couldn't tell from the title, but the book focuses almost exclusively on one simple halakhic question: may women in an Orthodox shul get an aliya, that is, be called forward to recite the blessings on the Torah when it is read publicly? We may instinctually think the answer is no, but it is important to realize that even if the answer is negative, the reasoning is not the same as that for excluding a woman from being the hazzan, the cantor who leads the service, sometimes called the shaliah tsibbur, "the messenger of the congregation." Halakha is not an http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Women and Communal Prayer

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Abstract

Review Essay Yeshivah of Flatbush Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives, by Daniel Sperber, Mendel Shapiro, Eliav Shochetman, and Shlomo Riskin. Introduction by Tamar Ross, edited by Chaim Trachtman. Jersey City: Ktav/JOFA, 2010. 411 pp. $24.95. Reviewing a book usually focuses on the presentation of its main theme. But this volume also demands a discussion of much more: the relationship of its contents to the title; the choice of authors who deal with the issues; the nature of the introduction; and the publisher. Indeed, in some ways the main topic is far from the most interesting. One couldn't tell from the title, but the book focuses almost exclusively on one simple halakhic question: may women in an Orthodox shul get an aliya, that is, be called forward to recite the blessings on the Torah when it is read publicly? We may instinctually think the answer is no, but it is important to realize that even if the answer is negative, the reasoning is not the same as that for excluding a woman from being the hazzan, the cantor who leads the service, sometimes called the shaliah tsibbur, "the messenger of the congregation." Halakha is not an

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Sep 13, 2012

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