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Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom Photo: Gil Mezuman
Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom Photo: Gil Mezuman
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni Photo: Itzik Edri
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni Photo: Itzik Edri

Shas rabbi's daughter for women's rights

Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom, daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, says exclusion of women from public domain violates Torah. 'Halacha treats women with the utmost respect,' she clarifies

Tali Farkash
Published: 11.29.11, 07:33 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom, the daughter of Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has criticized the exclusion of women from the public domain in the ultra-Orthodox sector, which she says "violates Torah."


Speaking Monday at the Women Talking Women economic conference in Tel Aviv, Bar Shalom mentioned the "kosher bus lines", defining the phenomenon as "the exclusion of women from the public domain."


Fragmented Society
Gender segregation on rise in Israel / Associated Press
In parts of 21st-century Jewish state, ultra-Orthodox rabbis trying to contain encroachment of secular values on their cloistered society through fierce backlash against mixing of sexes in public
Full story

According to Bar Shalom, this is not the way things should be as "Halacha treats women with the utmost respect."


Rabbi Yosef's daughter explained that "the haredi woman lives in a society where rabbis set the rules."


Addressing the issue of feminism in the sector, Bar Shalom said that "the haredi woman shuts herself off from the outside society, thinking that feminism will hurt her family," but added that she believes Jewish Law is in favor of gender equality.


Bar Shalom, who founded the first college for ultra-Orthodox women, presented the growth in the number of haredi women taking academic studies in recent years.


Livni: Dangerous collision ahead

The conference, initiated by Cheryl Saban and Cherie Blair, was also attended by Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who also addressed the exclusion of women.


"Prohibiting women to sing is not about singing. It questions whether women and men can serve together in the IDF in general," she said. "The processes taking place these days are unacceptable. It took years and many struggles to allow women to serve in combat units, and today there is an attempt to exclude them – and that's serious.


"We must fight these processes together. This isn't just a matter for women, this isn't a battle for women's rights, but a battle between the rule of law and the radicalization being imposed on society.


"This is a battle for values people are trying to replace with extreme rabbis' rulings. What we are seeing here is a collision putting the entire society in danger," Livni concluded.



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