Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar responded Monday to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's harsh criticism
against the exclusion of women
"She has no real knowledge of a Jewish woman's modesty," he said. "The Jewish people respect women and treat them like queens and princesses."
According to the rabbi, had Clinton learned from "the right people, scholars, she would see that the Jewish people respect their women."
Speaking in an interview to Kol Barama Radio, the rabbi added that the respect is demonstrated in modest clothes and a head cover for married women.
Rabbi Amar did criticize the clothing of the "Taliban women"
and their claim that Jewish women used to wear cloaks in the past.
"I still belong to the generation which we saw our mothers and grandmothers, so they cannot tell us how they dressed. We know exactly what they wore – they covered their hair with a silk cloth and the clothes went beyond their elbows and knees… They never heard of such a thing. There are clear rules."
As for "kosher" buses, separating between men and women, the rabbi explained that some people choose to be stricter but that this is not part of Jewish religious laws. He mentioned Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's ruling that there is no problem for men and women to use public transportation together.
Amar went on to address women's singing in the IDF,
saying that he is not against it and that the demand was to allow religious soldiers to leave an event during one woman's performance – "politely and without any humiliation of course, as the Torah does not insult anyone and respects women."